New Delhi: In stark contrast to other sportspersons who have given a thumbs-up to the Formula One coming to India, former sprint queen P T Usha says hosting the Grand Prix is nothing but a “criminal waste” of money.
“I feel very bad because such hi-fi business has nothing to do with 99 per cent of Indians. It is a criminal waste (of money). First, Twenty20 cricket spoiled the spirit of Indian sports, and now here comes another avatar which will mostly attract corporate money, who (corporates) rarely spend for sports promotion. Only God can save Indian sports,” Usha told PTI.
The legendary athlete, who missed a 400m hurdles bronze medal by a whisker in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, does not even consider motor racing a sport.
“Till this date I have never and I don’t want to follow any motor business, which I do not want to call as sport,” said Usha, who now runs an athletics academy in her home state of Kerala.
Meanwhile, top shooter Gagan Narang is happy with F1 coming to India, but said it will be disappointing if the event is restricted to only the rich and affluent.
“Let’s face it that the sport is not for everyone. Only people with money will have the access. It has to be marketed well. I have heard from Indian friends abroad that turning up for Indian GP is more expensive than Singapore GP. That beats the purpose,” Narang said.
“But this is the first season so let’s see. I am certain the organisers will pull it off well,” Narang added.
Organisers Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) has spent about Rs 2000 crore to build the state-of-the-art Buddh International Circuit and to get the F1 licence to host the race.