Former Olympic long jumper Anju Bobby George foresees a tough road ahead for the 14-member Indian athletic contingent, who will swing into action at the London Olympics later this month (July 27-August 12).
"An Olympic medal is the biggest reward for any athlete. Realistically I don't think that we have any medal chances in athletics unless some miracle takes place. I do not want to demoralise the Indian athletes, but they still have some more time to match the best in the world," George told MiD DAY on Friday.
The 35-year-old, who participated in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, failed to make the cut for London after she injured her neck during practice just before the last qualifying events in Europe (Sollentuna GP in Stockholm scheduled on July 5 and Portugese National championship on July 7-8) last month.
The Arjuna award winner considers herself unfortunate as far as Olympics is concerned.
"In 2000 Sydney I qualified but pulled out due to an injury. In 2004 Athens I had fever so couldn't win a medal. 2008 Beijing I failed to qualify for the women's long jump event fouling in all my three attempts after my ankle injury resurfaced. And 2012 I couldn't even make it to the London Games," said George.
Indian athletics contingent
Men - Track & road events: Basanta Bahadur Rana - 50 m walk; Baljinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Irfan Kolothum Thodi - 20km walk; Ram Singh Yadav - marathon. Field events: Vikas Gowda - Discus Throw; Om Prakash Karhana - Shot Put; Renjith Maheshwary - triple jump. Women - Track & road events: Tintu Luka - 800 m; Sudha Singh - 3000 m steeplechase. Field events: Seema Antil, Krishna Poonia - Discus Throw; Mayookha Johny - Triple jump; Sahana Kumari - High Jump.