Usha asks athletes to report sexual harassments immediately

Updated: Jul 29, 2010, 20:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Legendary athlete PT Usha on Thursday
described the sex scandal that rocked hockey and weightlifting
as "bad for Indian sports" but said victims should come out
immediately instead of waiting for opportune moment like
Karnam Malleswari.

"It is bad for Indian sports and I feel bad for the
players though I have never experienced it in my career," she
told reporters here.

"Such things mainly happen but anyway it is not good,"
added Usha after her protege Tintu Luka won gold in women`s
800m race in the third Asian All Star Meet here.

Usha, who missed a bronze medal by a whisker in 1984 Los
Angeles Olympics, felt athletes who faced sexual harassment
from officials or coaches should come out immediately with
their complaint instead of remaining silent for years just
like Olympic bronze medallist weightlifter Karnam Malleswari.

"Malleswari kept quite for long years and she has come
out just now. The players should come out immediately. Only
then such things could be stopped," she said.

Usha said her protege Luka has a chance to win a medal in
the Commonwealth Games but admitted it would be tough.

"In athletics, Australia, England, Canada and Jamaica are
very strong. I am hoping that she can a win a medal. To do
that she has to run sub two minutes," she said.

"My target for her is to run sub two minutes and win gold
in the Asian Games in China. In the Commonwealth Games I am
not going to push much as she is very young and the
competition will be very tough," she said of Luka, who won
gold in 800m with her personal best of 2:01.24.

"She could have run sub two minutes if there was somebody
to push her in the second lap today. She ran very fast in the
first lap but slowed down in the second as she was running
alone," said Usha.

Asked about Luka`s preparations for this year`s
Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, she said, "She will run in
the two Diamond League series on August 13 in London and
August 27 in Brussels."

She also gave a thumbs-up to the state-of-the-art Jawahar
Lal Nehru stadium, which will be the main venue of the October
3-14 Delhi Games, saying the facilities here are impressive.

"The facilities are impressive and stadium is beautiful.
It has changed a lot since 1982 Asian Games," Usha said.

"Only the finishing touches are lacking and once these
are done, the stadium will look even more beautiful and
impressive," she added.

Usha, however, refused to compare the stadium with other
venues she had competed during her illustrious career.

"I can`t compare these with others stadiums. After giving
the finishing touches, this stadium will be a very good one. I
had retired long back and lot of changes have occurred in many
venues all around the world," she said.

PTI

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