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Rediff.com  » Sports » Milkha slams Anju's Beijing flop

Milkha slams Anju's Beijing flop

August 29, 2008 20:51 IST

Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh has demanded action against Anju Bobby George for her Olympics flop-show, saying the ace long jumper was underprepared going into the quadrennial extravaganza in Beijing.

"Her performance was very disappointing. She could not record even one valid jump; all three of her attempts ended in fouls. I think the AFI (Athletics Federation of India) should take action against her for such a performance," Milkha told reporters in Delhi on Friday.

"Anju spent a lot of time training abroad but could not deliver. I have been saddened by her performance," he said on the sidelines of the national sports awards ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Milkha, in fact, lambasted the entire athletics contingent for failing to even match their personal bests in Beijing.

"The performance was bad and it is so disappointing to see our athletes not even recording their personal bests. We need to make sure that the athletes who go to represent us at such events are prepared to the best of their abilities," he said.

"We are not short of talent or money. We just need to ensure that athletes get the best of facilities and encouragement," he added.

Milkha, however, was mighty impressed with India's overall Olympics performance.

"I wanted to see India win a gold [medal] in my lifetime and Abhinav Bindra fulfilled that dream. Our boxers and wrestlers also performed really well," he said.

"But it should not stop at this and we need to make sure that we groom more talent that can bring us a bagful of medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. For this to happen the training of athletes has to be good," he added.

On this year's Arjuna awardees, selected by a committee headed by him, Milkha said, "The number of awardees could have been higher but the standard of athletes was not all that good. That is why we decided to give away just 11 awards instead of the 15th that are usually handed out."