Deccan Chronicle

India need to harness athletic talent: Donovan Bailey

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: December 14, 2013 | Updated on: Invalid date

Indian athletics had been rapidly improving over the past few years, said sprinter Donovan Bailey.

Donovan Bailey

Donovan Bailey

New Delhi: He might have won the gold medal and set a world record at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but former Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey is far from happy with his performance on that day .

Bailey, one of the most prominent sprinters from Canada post the Ben Johnson era, had set a then world record of 9.84 seconds on his way to Olympic gold. But the Jamaica-born athlete to this day feels that he could have touched 9.71 seconds if he had run a perfect race.

"My start was okay, but it could have been better.
We divide each 100m race into three segments -30m, 40m and again 30m. I was trying hard to accelarate to get to my top speed at around the 60m mark," Bailey said on the sidelines of a promotional event for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to be held on December 15.

"According to my coaching staff, if all three segments had gone perfectly, I could have set a timing of 9.71 seconds." Bailey also felt that
Indian athletics had been rapidly improving over the past few years and events like the Delhi Half Marathon had helped to inculcate a running culture in the country.

"In Canada, we are big into running and other forms of exercise. You need to build up a culture and I that that big ticket events like the Delhi half marathon will motivate people to take to running in a big way," the 45-yearold said.

"I think that India has a big pool of athletic talent, but you need to harness that. You need proper programmes right from the school level and then back it up with top class coaching and infrastructure, like we have in Jamaica and other Carribean nations."

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