Tintu eyeing Asian Games gold

Updated: May 31, 2010, 20:26 PM IST

Pune: She recently made her arrival in the senior circuit in style, but legendary PT Usha’s protege Tintu Luka wants to take it easy in the first leg of the Asian GP which stars here on Tuesday and said her main aim would be to win the gold at the Guangzhou Asian Games later this year.

In an interview with her mentor beside, the top 800m athlete said she is not worried about getting gold in the much-waited Delhi Commonwealth Games in October but she is eyeing the top spot in the Asian Games in November.

“My main target is a gold medal in the Asian Games. I have just come into the senior-fold and not worried much about the CWG,” Tintu said with the help of Usha.

Tintu was in sizzling form in the 50th National Open Athletics Championships that ended in Kochi on May 18. She not only set a meet record with a timing of 2:01.61 in the 800m but also clinched the 400m gold.

However, the 20-year-old promising athlete is not expecting much from the Asian GP and expects to be at her best during the Commonwealth Games.

“The Asian GP is a good way to start the season and I hope to peak by the CWG by going under two minutes,” Tintu said.

PT Usha, meanwhile, believe that her ward is currently the best in Asia.

“I do not want to bog her down by creating pressure. I do not want much media attention on her. She holds the best timing in Asia as of now and at the world level Tintu is No 14,” the former sprint queen said.

“But we are going to go slow about her, focus more on endurance training rather than speed training. I want her to peak at the right time. I want to make her free, out of pressure,” Usha said.

Usha, who missed a hurdles medal by a whisker at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, said Tintu is coming up the way she had expected.

“I want to give her and all the athletes of my academy everything that I missed during my period. I am taking total care of her so as to prevent injury and ensure proper progress,” she said.

Daughter of a mason now in Gulf and elder to three sisters, Tintu came to the Usha School of Athletics in 2002, in the first batch.

Usha, who runs an athletics school by her name near Kozhikode, said when Tintu joined her academy she was malnourished.

“First three years in the academy, it was about conditioning and nourishment. But she is always very hardworking, that’s the best thing I like about her. She was ready to give up leaving with her parents. She only goes home for three-four days, once a year,” she said.

Usha also plans to take Tintu for an European tour before the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Tintu hails from a small village by the name of Valathod near Iritty in the Kannur district of Kerala.