Medal hopes in athletics very dim: Milkha Singh
Chandigarh: Sprint legend Milka Singh feels India has very little chance of winning an athletics medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games due to the apathy of those at the helm of affairs.
“I have serious doubt that we would be able to win even two medals,” the 81-year-old Milkha, who had won the 400m gold with a timing of 47.6 second in the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games, told reporters here.
He said he had suggested to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to hand over the training of the athletes to the Army, but there had been no response from them.
“We may win some medals in shooting, wrestling, boxing, tennis, weightlifting and archery etc, but in athletics, which should have been our main focus, we will lose out badly as countries like England, Australia, Kenya, Jamaica and Uganda will prove to be too good for us,” he said.
Milkha said it would be disappointing for the home crowds as the athletes will cut a sorry figure.
He said that the stadia for the Games should have been completed two years back so that the athletes could have had enough time for practice at the new facilities.
“The country’s honour is at stake. It’s a shame that the Games have been mired in allegations of corruption against those who are at the helm. Media reports have said that even the British Queen was upset over some developments concerning the QBR. Common people in India are angry and the issue has even rocked our Parliament,” said Milkha.
Milkha said the CWG corruption scandal will dent the country’s image elsewhere in the world.
“Now, one hears such negative comments about the Commonwealth Games, which is going to damage our country’s reputation abroad,” he said.
He also said that he fears that some participating nations may withdraw their top sportspersons from the upcoming Games, “as they have been rocked by controversies following allegations of corruption”.