Six fastest children get set for big leap
The champions, from six metro cities and four corners of the country, will head to Australia in end-April for a week’s training at Griffith University with reputed coach Sharon Hannan as India’s fastest boys and girls in the u-12, u-14 and u-16 categories, after the first-ever nationwide talent hunt for sprinters, dubbed ‘Speedstar’.
The winners of the 100 metres no-frills speed-running will find also themselves on the radar of sprint queen PT Usha, who announced that she was scouting for raw pace in schools, to hone and mentor in coming years.
This was the first attempt by the Athletics Federation of India, along with organisers KOOH Sports, to scout for talent in the purest race in international sport. Limited to metros, and a few from Sonepat, the first season of Speedstar promised a model worthy of being expanded to the smaller towns and villages, from where many more could emerge.
The inaugural edition saw Najafgarh’s Shabnam Shokeen (14.04 sec) as the u-12 champ. The youngest of three daughters of farmer Azad Sinh, Shabnam, till two years ago, would run behind a tractor barefoot
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