THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Where lesser mortals rule the roost, Paramjeet Singh, one of the best quarter-milers that India has ever produced, is rather an unknown name. Sitting somewhere in the middle of the pavilion that was set for the media, Paramjeet Singh enjoys the luxury of anonymity.
With no one to pester him, Paramjeet can easily carry on with his task; scouting athletic talents for the CRPF, where he is working as Deputy Commandant.
Speaking to TNIE on the sidelines of the National Games, Paramjeet, who shot to fame after eclipsing 'the Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh's 38-year old national record in 400m, felt India at present is lacking a core group of men who could bring laurels for the country. “In a technical event like the 400m, we need a strong pool of runners who could compete amongst each other and improve. Sadly, in the men's case, that is not happening. We have less number of talented runners and with that, we can't deliver in the relays as well as a flat race,” he said.
What the Hosiarpur-born Asian Games silver medallist, who was part of the 4x400m relay team that won silver in the 1998 Asian Games, said is worth reflecting on. Except Asian Games bronze medallist Arokia Rajiv and National Games holder P Kunju Muhammed, there is no other prominent athlete in the national scenario. “This is an issue that the officials concerned have to address. During my time, the team had the service of Lijo David Thottan, P Ramachandran and Jata Shankar. Apart from this core team, we also had Dinesh Rawat and K J Manoj Lal, who were equally talented. Because of such a big cluster of talented athletes, we could win an Olympic berth. As of now, it would be difficult to say that men's team will qualify for the Olympics in the near future,” he added.
Meanwhile, Paramjeet expects Rajiv to do well in the future. “He has a relaxed technique and can easily bring his time below 45.5s,” he said. He also added that the athletes should be kept in the same facility so that they could get to know each other well. “We used to do it. We practised, ate and went shopping together. That sort of camaraderie will help,” he observed. Having declined to train national teams earlier, Paramjeet said he will be happy to take it up if the offer comes up again.