German base for Tintu and Jisna on the road to Rio

The Athletics Federation of India has made arrangements for the duo to compete in Munich (May 14), Rehlingen (May 16), Osterode (May 31) and Regensburg (June 5) before they head to Rio for the 2016 Games.

Asian champion Tintu Luka (right) and international Jisna Mathew along with their coach P.T. Usha will have Germany as their base for a month from May 7.   -  THE HINDU

Asian champion Tintu Luka and international Jisna Mathew along with their coach P.T. Usha will have Germany as their base for a month from May 7 as they prepare for the Rio Olympics in August.

“We will be staying in Cologne for a month between May and June and train and compete there in four or five meets,” said Usha.

“These will be below two-minute meets in the 800m, there is no point in Tintu competing in events where the runners will be running above two minutes. I believe these are good quality meets,” said Usha.

The 17-year-old quartermiler Jisna, who clocked a stunning personal best of 53.14s while winning the 400m silver at the Commonweath Youth Games in Samoa last September, will be looking to make the entry standard for the Olympics (52.20s) in one of four meets in Germany.

Tintu and Jisna will be running in Munich (May 14), Rehlingen (May 16), Osterode (May 31) and at Regensburg (June 5), revealed Usha. The Athletics Federation of India has made the arrangements for the duo to compete in these meets.

Diamond League

After opening her athletics season at the Federation Cup in New Delhi on April 20, Tintu is likely to start her international tour with the Diamond League season-opener in Doha on May 6.

“She is on the waiting list but her Doha entry is almost 90 per cent confirmed,” said Usha, who was in the Qatar capital recently.

With the IAAF and its President Sebastian Coe, who is also the Chairman of the Diamond League AG – the company which operates the World’s premier track and field series – focusing on India and Asia in a big way, Tintu’s chances of running in Doha are really good.

Goal: Top-five finish

A top-five finish in Doha is likely to open the doors for other Diamond League events. “If Tintu finishes within the top five in Doha, and she is capable of doing that, it will not be a problem for her to get entry in other Diamond League events,” said Usha.

Tintu, a semifinalist at the 2012 London Olympics, had a wonderful 2015, winning her maiden Asian Championship 800m gold in China last June, and Usha will be hoping that the good run continues in this Olympic year.

Packed season for Jisna

Jisna will have a packed season too. Apart from the German tour, and depending on her performance there, Jisna is also likely to take part in the Asian Championship in Vietnam in early June. There is also another meet lined up, the Kosanov memorial at Almaty in Kazakhstan on June 25, for her to qualify for Rio in case she fails to make the grade for the Olympics in the German meets.