'Give 'em all the exposure'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM AUG. 10. The poor results at the three National domestic circuits and the Federation Cup notwithstanding, P.T. Usha, who anchored Indian athletics for long, is of the opinion that the sport still has a bright future in the country.

Discussing the current scene with The Hindu on Saturday, the great athlete said her assessment was based on a variety of factors and this included the imitative to send Anju Bobby George for training in the United States and for competing in the various Grand Prix meets in Europe.

``It is this kind of exposure that the Indian athletes have been lacking for a long time now. I am sure that Anju will be great benefited from the exposure she gains in Europe when she attempts to keep the Indian tricolour flying high in Athens next year.

``In fact, we should be sending all our potential medallists to Europe each year for training and to compete in the various Grand Prix meets. It is only through this kind of exposure that the athletes themselves would be able to compete in important events like the Asian Games and the Olympics without fear of their opponents.

``Though the overall standard of long jump this year has been far below expectations, I think Anju has done exceptionally well. I am also happy that her name figures in the Arjuna award list as well. Our effort should, however, be not limited to making Anju alone a world champion or an Olympic gold-medallist. We should provide the best of facilities to all those who have the potential to perform well in the international arena'', Usha added.