After Neeraj Chopra’ historic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, India is again dreaming as long jumper Shaili Singh clinches silver medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi. Chopra’ gold was the first Olympic medal in Athletics for India and now with several rising stars emerging, the future looks bright.
Based out of Jhansi, Shai Singh has shifted to Bangaluru after she was spotted by national record holder and World Championship bronze medallist Anju Bobby George. She is part of the Anju Bobby George Foundation and is coached by her husband Robert Bobby George.
The 17-year-old was a prime medal prospect for the country at the Junior Championships in the Kenyan capital. She topped her qualifications and even in the finals, she was at the top until Sweden’s Maja Askag leapfrogged her by a centimetre to clinch the gold medal.
Shaili’s best jump was 6.59m and it was at a stage where she needs to do something as she was out of medal positions. It showed her courage and determination. Also, she has tremendous belief in her abilities which allows her to perform like that under such high pressure.
Honestly, with her jump of 6.59m she was sure of the gold medal but was surprised to see the Swedish jumper cross that mark. “I was certain of winning the gold after that 6.59 jump and wasn’t expecting a jump bigger than that until Askag surpassed me,” Shaili told Indiatvnews.com.
Despite that, she was confident that she would take the lead back. She revealed that she was planning to register jumps of 6.80m. However, that did not happen for the young Indian jumper as she settled for the silver medal.
“I can’t tell you what was the distance I set for myself in Nairobi but my coach and I were confident that I can go past the 6.60m marks with three attempts left and were thinking of hitting 6.70m but after the two subsequent foul attempts, the momentum was lost. I blame myself for not doing that and next time I will ensure the colour of the medal will be gold,” said Shaili.
While being only 17 helped her cause as she can try again next year at the World Athletics U20 Championships which will happen in Cali, Columbia. However, Shaili is not satisfied with this as she aims for a podium at the Senior World Athletics Champions in Oregon which is also scheduled next year.