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New Delhi, Sep 22: Legendary runner Milkha Singh on Monday said that the current crop of Indian track and field athletes have the potential to do well at international level but they need commitment to come on top at the highest stage. Also Read - Schools Reopening From Monday | What Back to Classes Might Look Like Amid Pandemic

“Our youngsters do have the potential to do well at highest level. All they need is hard work, strong determination and commitment,” Milkha said at the launch of a talent hunt programme organised by natural gas major Gas Authority of India limited (GAIL). Asked about his expectations from the Indian athletes in the ongoing Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, he said, “Honestly, I am not very hopeful with our athletes to do well at the Incheon games.” Also Read - COVID-19: With Spike of Over 96,000 Cases, India's Tally Crosses 52-Lakh Mark, Deaths Near 85K

Milkha, who narrowly missed a bronze medal at Rome Olympics 1960, reiterated his desire to see an Indian track and field athlete winning a medal at the Olympics Games.

“With around a billion population we definitely have the talent but we lack the hard work and mental resilience required for athletics. We also lack the endeavour to bring out the untapped potential of youth to the forefront,” said Milkha. With the aim to identify athletes with the potential to become Olympic-level sprinters, the ‘ Flying Sikh’ today became the face of a talent hunt programme which aims at providing training to a pool of youngsters to play and win medals for the country.

Milkha lent his support to ‘GAIL- The Fastest Indian’ and will guide, select and groom potential winners. Talking about the project, he said, “This project is the need of the hour. We have done quite well in other sports but has not been successful to compete at the highest level when it come to athletics. I hope this initiative will take the country forward to produce athletes who will go on to win accolades for the country.”