A STAR IN THE MAKING

ON A MISSION: P.T. Usha with Tintu Luka. The sprint queen rates the youngster very highly.-

A few days after she had announced her retirement, P. T. Usha was not the least hesitant when asked about the disappointing moment of her career: "I think, I will carry the disappointment of not having won an Olympic medal to my grave." Now, a good five years later, having subsequently started the Usha School of Athletics, the legendary athlete is reliving her dream through young Tintu Luka. The talented youngster, incidentally, was one of the star performers at the recent Kerala School Games in Thiruvananthapuram, winning a unique 400m-800m double, including a meet record to boot in the shorter distance.

"Tintu is undoubtedly a potential Olympic medal winner. Though she was able to clock only 56.41s here, she is capable of clocking sub-55 timings regularly. And if she continues to make progress in the same vein, I am sure that Tintu could bring us all joy in the years to come," commented Usha.

Having gone through the grind herself, Usha is determined to offer the best of facilities for her wards at the school. "The work on the project will soon get off the blocks. And we are trying our best to provide all the modern amenities to our athletes at the school. The first phase of the project is likely to be completed next year." Usha and Tintu, for sure are on a mission.

— A. Vinod/Thiruvananthapuram