London, July 31 (IANS) India athletics coach Bahadur Singh says he will be happy if his 14 wards better their career best performance at the London Olympics.
The Indian squad includes three jumpers and runners, four throwers and as many walkers.
“For nine of the 14 athletes, it is their first Olympics. They should make full use of this opportunity to put up good show. It is going to be a great learning experience for them,” said the coach.
Triple-jumper Ranjeeth Maheshwary is a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and gold winner in Asian track and field meet. He qualified in ‘B’ category but now he is in good shape and can cross 7 metres, said Singh.
Triple-jumper Mayookha Johny also made it through ‘B’ the category. “I am also expecting her to better the national record here,” he said. High jumper Sahana Kumari, ‘B’ qualifier, also has a chance to improve upon her own record.
Shot putter Om Prakash is Asian Champion and qualified in ‘A’ category and Bahadur was of the view that the thrower has the potential to do well at the Olympics.
According to the coach, if discus thrower Vikas Gowda, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist, improves his personal best, he can achieve a respectable ranking. The same holds true for two women throwers Krishna Poonia and Seema Antil.
Regarding 800 metres runner Tintu Luka, a ‘B’ qualifier and protegee of legendary P.T.Usha, the coach opined that the young runner has got a great chance to showcase her talent at the big stage.
Bahadur was confident that Sudha Singh will improve her timing in steeple chase. “I am expecting a new national record from her,” said the coach.
Singh said marathon man Ram Singh Yadav has trained well and should put up a good show. Gurmeet, Irfan, Baljinder and Basant Bahadur Rana are taking part in the 50 km walking event.