Former Indian athlete Sriram Singh has voiced concern over the current crop of athletes. Sriram Singh, who was the last Indian man to run in the final of an Olympic track event, also stated that the Indian (men’s) middle-distance running is lagging 40 years behind. This is why he believes that his record of being the last Indian man to run in the final of the Olympics is still there.
Commenting on it, he said, “I think this means Indian (men’s) middle-distance running is lagging 40 years behind.”
Speaking on today generation, he said, “There was a lot of difference in athletics in our times and current times. The infrastructure is better now, the foreign exposure, including competitions, are being given. But the main reason why there is no performance is that the current crop is not being able to work hard like a Milkha Singh, P T Usha or a Sriram Singh.”
“The recipe for success is the chemistry between the athlete and his or her coach. Both should be dedicated in their work and there should be faith in each other,” he said and added, “The middle and long distance events have been neglected with no academies opened. The academies that have been opened are either for sprint events or for throwing events.”
He further went on to question, “What is the performance of foreign coaches who have been roped in at high salaries?” and said, “The high amount of salary paid to them should be spent on the Indian coaches. If they (foreign coaches) leave the country with some excuse, saying I don’t get this and that, what will you do? At least an Indian coach will be accountable for his performance.”
“The federation should figure out who are the good Indian coaches and they should be sent abroad to train under foreign coaches to upgrade their knowledge about coaching. My belief that by depending on others (foreigners), we cannot develop or sustain ourselves in the long run.” he said and added”We should develop more high altitude centres and during summer, the athletes should be sent there for training and competitions should be held there. If we are feeling the humidity standing here, imagine the plight of athletes who are competing.”