Maken inaugurates work on synthetic track at Usha`s school

Kinalur (Kerala): Ending a nine-year long wait, work on the Rs five crore synthetic track at former sprint queen P T Usha`s academy here was on Saturday inaugurated by Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken.

The track, a dream project of Usha, would go a long way in grooming the athletes, Maken told reporters after inaugurating the work at the Usha School of Athletics here, 30 km from Kozhikode.

"It is a dream project for us. It is one of the biggest achivements for athletics in north Kerala because the track would go a long way in helping the athlete prepare for competing in major international meets," said Usha, who missed a medal by one hundredth of a second at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Maken also said he had discussed with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy regarding the next National Games, which Kerala would be hosting. "I will have detailed discussions with Chandy when he comes to Delhi again."

Maken, during his visit to the school in February last, had expressed his appreciation on its functioning and pledged Rs five crore central assistance for laying the synthetic track for which proposals had been submitted in 2002.

The project was planned to be completed in one year.

Usha has set up the school with the vision to nurture talent, to achieve excellence in every field of athletics and place India firmly on the international sports map.

National record holder and Asian Games bronze medallist in 800 m, Tintu Luka is a product of the School. Besides Tintu, Jessy Joseph (800 m), Nikhila (200 m) and Sanjana (800 m) are the other bright prospects being trained by Usha.


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