mid-day editorial: Let's help Thingalaya cross the final hurdle

Updated: Jan 22, 2018, 06:56 IST | mid-day correspondent

The redoubtable Siddhanth Thingalaya, who made headlines last June when he created a national record in the 110m hurdles at the Altis Invitational Meet in the US, now needs our help with a different kind of obstacle

The redoubtable Siddhanth Thingalaya, who made headlines last June when he created a national record in the 110m hurdles at the Altis Invitational Meet in the US, now needs our help with a different kind of obstacle. The 27-year-old Andheri athlete is set to become the first Indian in nearly 55 years to participate in the 110m hurdles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but is struggling to find the funds for training. He has been training under a famed American trainer for the last three years. He now needs around Rs 15 lakh to continue training. His parents cannot cough up the cash. This is an all too familiar tale with sportspersons in India. We now need the government to step up and help the hurdler complete his training.

It makes no sense to expect non-profits to step in. At this level of competition and the kind of help Thingalaya needs, it's the Sports Ministry that should come to his aid. If we want this athlete to win for India, his attention cannot be diverted to worries about a fund crunch or how he is going to complete training. A champion performs at optimum level when his focus is solely on training, when his goal is a podium finish and everything else is in the background. The Sports Ministry must consider the merits of this case, and help him if they deem it fit. They have to take a decision quickly so that the athlete is not scurrying around for the money.

As India aspires to become a multi-sporting nation with global standards, let our support systems be top of the line too. If there is solid backing and financial help, these dreams can finally turn into reality. Here's looking at you, Sid. We hope our sporting authorities are doing so too.

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