Tintu Luka, the gold medal winner at the Asian Athletics Championships had failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the women's 800m race at Rio Olympics 2016.
Though Tintu was among many other Indian athletes who returned broken hearted, the spat over Tintu’s performance has been unusual.
Immediately after the qualifiers Tintu’s uncle Joyichan held her coach Olympian and legendary athlete PT Usha responsible for her failure.
He also alleged that the Usha training school did not have facilities on par with international standards. He went on to accuse Usha of being selfish and alleged that Usha was not keen on Tintu reaping athletic glory, for fear of losing her own.
Though Tintu’s parents distanced themselves from these allegations, it had become a discussion across media platforms.
There were also rumours that Usha was planning to quit the field as she was depressed over the allegations. Just when the discussions and debate over the issue had died down, in an interview given on Thursday, Usha hit out at Tintu saying the 27-year-old athlete was not capable of winning a medal.
Refuting allegations, Usha said that though she had provided training, it was the athlete’s duty to perform.
Joyichan had also alleged that Usha had taken away all allowances and grants Tintu had received, Usha however denied this staunchly.
Usha pointed out that Tintu had got a lot of personal attention from her and she considered it her success that she had brought Tintu who came from an extremely poor family to her current position.
She also said Tintu did not have the caliber to win an Olympic medal.
However, Kerala sports council president TP Dasan has come down on PT Usha for criticising Tintu. Dasan said Usha could have complained about limitations earlier before the athlete had been sent to Rio and there was no point in criticising Tintu now.