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'I can break Anju Bobby George's national record this year'- Shaili Singh

Young long jumper Shaili Singh believes that she can break her mentor Anju Bobby George's national record this year.

Shaili Singh

Shaili Singh (AFI)



Updated: 18 Jun 2023 4:45 PM GMT

At the age of only 19 and with just two years in the senior circuit, Shaili Singh has already emerged as India's top female long jumper. Ambitious and driven, she is determined to surpass her mentor Anju Bobby George's national record this year.

In April, Shaili achieved a remarkable jump of 6.76m, marking the second-longest distance ever recorded by an Indian woman. This achievement placed her just behind the legendary Anju, whose record of 6.83m has remained unchallenged for 19 years.

Anju Bobby George herself holds a strong belief in her protege's abilities, acknowledging that Shaili has the potential to surpass her national record.

"Anju mam says I can break her record since I am very near to it (7cm short) and she wants that to happen this year. She says I am in that range, and so I feel I can do it," Shaili said after the women's long jump qualifying round at the National Inter-State Athletics Championship on Sunday.

She made it to the final round in third place with a best jump of 6.27m, behind Kerala jumpers Ancy Sojan and Nayana James.

Sojan breached the Asian Games mark of 6.45m with a best effort of 6.49m while James produced 6.31m.

"I lost one month this year while recovering from an injury. I am getting fitter. I feel I can do 6.70m to 6.80m," said Sojan, whose personal best is 6.56m, when asked what her target distance is.

Shaili said she will try to jump farther in the final on Monday. She has already breached the Asian Games qualifying mark with that 6.76m jump in Bengaluru in April and 6.65m effort while finishing third at the prestigious Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Japan last month.

"I tried to cross 6.45m (Asian Games qualifying mark), but it did not happen. But I am still happy, I will improve in the final."

She said the hot and humid condition at the Kalinga Stadium here is like having a "Sauna Bath '.

"The conditions are difficult but the target given to me by my coach is to do better than the 6.76m that I had done in Bangalore in April."

She trains at the Anju Bobby George Sports Foundation in Bengaluru under Anju's husband Robert who is also a high-performance coach with the Sports Authority of India.

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