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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

We’re nonetheless there, don’t rely us out, says Srabani Nanda

Two years in the past, the Indian ladies’s 4x100m relay group was very assured of constructing it to the Tokyo Olympics. That didn’t occur and the final 12 months has seen one setback after one other, particularly on the doping entrance.

Olympian S. Dhanalakshmi, and later M.V. Jilna, who had been set to go to the Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham final 12 months as a part of the dash relay group, failed dope assessments and in December, Nationwide 100m record-holder Dutee Chand — a former World College Video games champion and Asian Video games silver medallist — additionally fell into the doping web.

And, in line with Nationwide coach Radhakrishnan Nair, prime sprinter Hima Das suffered an harm simply earlier than the April 15 Indian Grand Prix in Bengaluru forcing her to overlook the Federation Cup.

The Asian Championships (Thailand, July), World Championships (Hungary, August) and the Asian Video games (China, September) are lined up this 12 months however now it seems just like the dash relay group has just about collapsed.

Quickest this 12 months

“I can’t say it’s now not there. You continue to have Jyothi Yarraji, Archana (Suseendran) and myself. We’d like simply want yet another, yet another woman from right here. So, for the Asians, we’re nonetheless there,” stated Srabani Nanda, the nation’s quickest lady this 12 months after profitable the 100m gold on the Federation Cup in a season-best 11.57s on Tuesday, in a chat with The Hindu right here.

Srabani, fifth in India’s all-time 100m listing along with her 11.36s which got here in Florida in June 2021, has been coaching in Jamaica below Stephen Francis who had coached Olympic and World champions Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce earlier.

Carry them collectively

So, she will not be a Nationwide camper and the Athletics Federation of India has a coverage that it’ll not embrace non-campers in its relay groups for main championships.

“I don’t know who’s within the camp and who will not be. If athletes are out of camp, you need to carry them collectively and make a group. If the federation brings us collectively, it’ll work,” stated the Olympian, a former Asian 200m bronze medallist, who was within the dash relay group that completed fifth within the 2022 Commonwealth Video games.

“India is likely one of the greatest in Asia, so we can’t really feel like we aren’t there. Athletes are nonetheless coaching, placing their work so you can’t put that mindset into them proper now. As a result of, that is the beginning of the season.”

Can’t management individuals

What’s operating in her thoughts concerning the athletes who’ve fallen into the dope web?

“As a person athlete in a person sport, I don’t take into consideration different athletes. I can’t management individuals, I might simply say disappointing and hopefully it shouldn’t occur,” stated Srabani, who ran in 5 Jamaican meets this 12 months earlier than opening her Indian season in Ranchi.

“I don’t actually like this, what younger individuals are into. Hopefully, I can change it doing every part clear.”

“And greater than that, they need to know the affect. By doping, you spoil your physique, your life and your achievements.”

Whereas the 200m took the 32-year-old from Odisha to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, she seems to be focusing extra on the 100m this 12 months. And he or she’s received an enormous purpose within the shorter dash.

“I am going on and off. I haven’t carried out a lot 200 this season as a result of that’s the plan of coaching. I did a number of 100m however I went to the Olympics within the 200 so I really feel it’s my pet occasion however that’s not at all times the case. When I’m match, I am going for each.

“I at all times wish to run quick, do a sub-11 (Nationwide document, Dutee Chand’s 11.17s). That was at all times my purpose since I went to Jamaica. So hopefully, with God’s grace it’ll come.”

Jamaican classes

Her 4 years in Kingston provided her loads of classes.

“It’s an enormous expertise for us Indian athletes to be with these individuals (Jamaicans), they’re the world’s greatest. I used to be like a queen in a pond (again dwelling), then I met the sharks within the ocean,” stated Srabani who’s supported in an enormous manner by the Odisha Authorities.

However initially, progress was very sluggish.

“For the primary few years, I didn’t enhance a lot as a result of it was utterly completely different. Now, I’m feeling higher technically.”

Powerful life

The sudden advancing of main Nationwide championships just like the Federation Cup and the Inter-State meet, that are choice meets for the Asian and World Championships and the Asian Video games, has upset athletes’ plans in an enormous manner. The issue is larger for athletes like Srabani who’re coaching overseas.

“The very first thing is the sudden bounce in the price of air tickets after which we have now to vary plans and rush into the season. I don’t understand how everyone is managing,” she stated.

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