Want tough, foreign competitions before Rio: Tintu Luka

Kolkata, Sep 17 (IANS) Echoing the same sentiments as her coach the legendary P.T Usha, Indian track and field athlete Tintu Luka on Thursday said she would like to train and compete in events abroad as there is no one to challenge here in the country for now.

“Unless there is someone to push you harder, you cannot give your best. So I want to travel abroad and compete there,” Tintu told reporters here on Wednesday.

Tintu is currently participating in the 55th National Open Athletic Championship here.

“There are no true competitors for Tintu in India. She needs to train abroad and participate in around 8-10 tournaments ahead of Rio,” P.T. Usha said on Wednesday. On Thursday too India’s golden girl of athletics stressed the importance of taking Tintu abroad.

Tintu set a national record in the women’s 800-metre race in the 2015 National Games in Kerala earlier this year, clocking 2:01.86 seconds to win gold.

She produced her season best effort of 2:00.95s at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, recently, which was enough to secure a Rio berth.

But that didn’t help her qualify for the 800m main event at Beijing as she finished a disappointing seventh in the first round heats to crash out.

“I want to reduce my timing to below two minutes and for that I am practicing for around 7-8 hours a day,” said the first class commerce graduate.

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