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Athletes require best facilities: Babar

By The Assam Tribune
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KOLKATA, Dec 27: Indian long distance runner Lalita Babar believes that athletes can win medals only if they are given the best of facilities to train on.

�For your athlete to win an Olympic medal, you must give the best facilities,� Babar told IANS in an interview. She complained that there are only a few synthetic tracks in the country and none of them is of world class standard. Along with other long distance runners like OP Jaisha and Sudha Singh, Babar runs on roads to train. �You see, most of my records have been made outside India, the facilities outside are really much better. It enhances our performances. Here we do not have proper training tracks, neither do we have many synthetic tracks. Here we practice by running on roads.�

�Where are the competition tracks here? Those which are here are not up to the international standards, the one we will get in Rio. But we will have to work within the facilities being provided to us,� she said.

Her gold medal in the steeplechase at the Asian Championships in Wuhan this year helped her to comfortably qualify for the Olympics at Rio. But, the 26-year-old would have gone to Rio otherwise too. She clocked her personal best in the Mumbai marathon, 2 hours 38 minutes and 21 seconds on January 18, which offered her a place in the long-distance event.

Asked how she was preparing for the mega event in 2016, Babar said: �I train for about six hours a day. Morning, I start from around 4.30 a.m. But nowadays, as the winter has set in, I start from five o�clock. And then we run in the evening. We have these medium and long runs. On Sundays we usually go for the long run which is about 30 to 40 kilometres. So, I cover around 170-180 kilometres every week.�

Babar, who is training in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, said she is trying to better her timing with each passing day and is hopeful of grabbing a medal at the Olympics next year.

�The thing is to give in my best and do well. I am practising really hard to reduce the timings as much as possible. I am really hoping that this time I will be able to get a medal for the country. My aim is to get under 9:10, 9:15 and that is what I am trying to do in steeplechase,� she said. �The time I am getting to prepare, I am utilising it to the fullest. I am running in a few races here so that I am in the best possible shape when I get to Rio,� she added.

The trio of Jaisa, Singh and Babar have been training under Belarussian coach Nikolai Snesarev for the last few years, who Babar believes has helped them improve their technique.

�He is very disciplined. And he makes sure we are too. He does scold me a lot too, but then it is for my benefit. He gives me little insights one needs to know before going into a race and that helps me perform better. He has also helped us improve our technique,� she said. A few days back, Snesarev was livid that the Railways were asking the trio to participate in a cross-country race just days before the all-important Mumbai marathon where athletes come from all over the world. � IANS

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Athletes require best facilities: Babar

KOLKATA, Dec 27: Indian long distance runner Lalita Babar believes that athletes can win medals only if they are given the best of facilities to train on.

�For your athlete to win an Olympic medal, you must give the best facilities,� Babar told IANS in an interview. She complained that there are only a few synthetic tracks in the country and none of them is of world class standard. Along with other long distance runners like OP Jaisha and Sudha Singh, Babar runs on roads to train. �You see, most of my records have been made outside India, the facilities outside are really much better. It enhances our performances. Here we do not have proper training tracks, neither do we have many synthetic tracks. Here we practice by running on roads.�

�Where are the competition tracks here? Those which are here are not up to the international standards, the one we will get in Rio. But we will have to work within the facilities being provided to us,� she said.

Her gold medal in the steeplechase at the Asian Championships in Wuhan this year helped her to comfortably qualify for the Olympics at Rio. But, the 26-year-old would have gone to Rio otherwise too. She clocked her personal best in the Mumbai marathon, 2 hours 38 minutes and 21 seconds on January 18, which offered her a place in the long-distance event.

Asked how she was preparing for the mega event in 2016, Babar said: �I train for about six hours a day. Morning, I start from around 4.30 a.m. But nowadays, as the winter has set in, I start from five o�clock. And then we run in the evening. We have these medium and long runs. On Sundays we usually go for the long run which is about 30 to 40 kilometres. So, I cover around 170-180 kilometres every week.�

Babar, who is training in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, said she is trying to better her timing with each passing day and is hopeful of grabbing a medal at the Olympics next year.

�The thing is to give in my best and do well. I am practising really hard to reduce the timings as much as possible. I am really hoping that this time I will be able to get a medal for the country. My aim is to get under 9:10, 9:15 and that is what I am trying to do in steeplechase,� she said. �The time I am getting to prepare, I am utilising it to the fullest. I am running in a few races here so that I am in the best possible shape when I get to Rio,� she added.

The trio of Jaisa, Singh and Babar have been training under Belarussian coach Nikolai Snesarev for the last few years, who Babar believes has helped them improve their technique.

�He is very disciplined. And he makes sure we are too. He does scold me a lot too, but then it is for my benefit. He gives me little insights one needs to know before going into a race and that helps me perform better. He has also helped us improve our technique,� she said. A few days back, Snesarev was livid that the Railways were asking the trio to participate in a cross-country race just days before the all-important Mumbai marathon where athletes come from all over the world. � IANS