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'Yes, Dream On'

The first Arab woman to win an Olympic gold on P.T. Usha and Anju Bobby George

'Yes, Dream On'
'Yes, Dream On'
Memories of running with P.T. Usha in Los Angeles are still fresh in my mind. I had seen her in the qualifying heats and I knew she had the potential to the clinch the gold. In fact, I was scared of her but I think the modest runner was quite young and needed some more international experience. I know hard training, good technique and dedication are very essential but you also need a lot of experience to win at the top level

As a member of the IAAF, I go for the international meets and I have seen Anju George. She is a good athlete and her bronze medal in the World Championship in Paris must have been a matter of great pride for the entire country. It is efforts like Anju’s that can make track and field popular in India. After P.T. Usha there should have been a boom in the sport in India. But I am sure several girls like Anju who are now doing well will lay the foundation for champion athletes in your country.

You have to think globally and act locally. I strongly believe in this. As I was growing up, each day was important to me and I knew I had to carry the torch. Yes, I had a dream. How can you go ahead if you don’t have one?

In Sydney I had seen this young middle distance runner (K.M. Beenamol). She was very impressive. I was expecting her to do well in the international arena. But I have not seen her run after that. You have to be at it all the time. Often we talk about top athletes when they hit headlines. But not many know what goes behind that. It is a hard grind and struggle to remain at the top. There is no shortcut to success. I am looking forward to seeing Anju win a medal in Athens.

(As told to Norris Pritam )

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