Athletics track. (Representative Photo by TOI)
CHENNAI: Standing four metres apart from 400m hurdler SV Aarthi, her coach Vicky was shouting instructions at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday. At times, the coach was also giving his student an earful if she was not following his advice on simple running drills. But Aarthi, who returned to outdoor training after a hiatus of four months, wasn’t complaining.
“It’s music to my ears. The last time I trained was back in February and how I missed my coach, nudging and motivating me. I am really happy to be back training on the tracks,” Chennai’s Aarthi, who won silver in the women’s 400m hurdles at the National inter-state athletics championships in Lucknow last year, told TOI.
Aarthi was among 45 athletes from the city — including sprinters, pole-vaulters, high-jumpers, hurdlers and long-distance runners — who resumed outdoor practice on Wednesday after the TN government and SDAT allowed the stadia and sports complexes in the state to open for national-level athletes. A few tennis and table tennis players have also resumed their practice while the squash stars are expected to start from Monday.
State pole vault coach Milber Bertrand Russell feels it was a step in the right direction even though his wards aren’t being able to use the equipment. “How long can you keep training at home, especially in the case of pole-vault. So even though we aren’t able to use the mat for the landing, I am asking my players to do basic training with the poles. Hopefully, they will allow the use of equipment from next month,” Milber said.