Olympian Tintu Luka, the 800m silver medallist at the last Asian Games in Incheon, has decided to pull out of next week’s National Inter-State athletics championships in Guwahati which is a selection meet for this year’s Asiad in Jakarta.
Tintu, who was hit by dengue fever at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar last year, appeared to be getting back in shape before the severe pain in her heel a few weeks ago forced her to play it safe once again.
“Tintu has been having pain in her heel for some time and she is unable to jog, she has just been cycling,” said her coach P.T. Usha on Wednesday.
Tintu, also the 2015 Asian 800m champion, had played a big role in the Indian 4x400m relay team breaking the Games record while winning the gold at the 2014 Asian Games.
JESSY JOSEPH RETURNS
However, another 800m star Jessy Joseph, who was off the track for nearly two and half years with an injury, will be making her comeback at the Guwahati meet.
“She will be competing just to get a feel of things, not for any serious timings,” said Usha, who is also Jessy’s coach. “She should be in good form in another two to three months.”
But the young quartermiler Jisna Mathew, the two-time junior Asian champion, who is also coached by Usha, appears to be in good form.
Anilda Thomas, a 4x400m relay runner at the last Worlds in London, is another athlete who has decided to stay away from the Inter-State meet with an injury.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu triple jumper K. Kamalraj, who suffered a hamstring problem while winning the junior Asian gold in Japan recently, has also decided to skip the Guwahati meet.
“There is still some pain, I’m unable to jog,” said the 19-year-old who qualified for next month’s under-20 Worlds in Finland with a personal best 16.41m in the Junior Nationals in Guntur late last year.
STYLE CHANGE FOR NAYANA
Romanian Bedros Bedros Bedrosian, the national coach for long and triple jumps, expects Asian bronze medallist Nayana James to go past her personal best after changing her long jump technique from the ‘hang’ style to the two and half step hitch-kick.