India's Tintu Luka hopes to shine in 800m at IAAF Diamond League
Doha, May 8 (IANS): It will be a turning point for Indian athletics if Tintu Luka can impress in the 800 metres race at the season-opening IAAF Diamond League here Friday.
The current Asian champion and 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist is India’s lone entry at the prestigious meet and is expected to face tough competition.
Out of 11 athletes in the fray, six have the calibre to finish the race under two minutes while four of them have clocked a better timing than Luka, who was a semifinalist at the 2012 Olympics. His personal best stands at 1:59:17, which is also a national record.
World Champion Eunice Sum and 2008 Olympic silver medallist Janet Jepkosegei are tipped to be the favourites. However, Luka’s coach, the legendary P.T. Usha is unfazed and seems quite confident about her protege’s chances.
“Tintu has been training well and we hope she will impress in the company of world class athletes. I hope it will inspire her to do her best,” said Usha.
Usha said performing well at the Commonwealth and Asian Games is on their radar and it would be great if Doha turns out to be a launching platform for the rest of the season.
“We are aiming to participate in the European circuits as well as it will give Tintu a decent chance to acclimatise for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games,” she added.