'Injury made me stronger': Shaili Singh makes modest return at National Games
Making a comeback after injury, Shaili Singh won the silver medal at the National Games in Women's Long Jump.
18-year-old athletics prodigy Shaili Singh of Uttar Pradesh made a return from injury at the ongoing National Games on Monday, finishing with the silver medal in Women's Long Jump behind Nayana James of Kerala.
With a jump of 6.28m, Shaili was 0.05m behind the gold medal mark. It was way behind the 6.59m jump she had registered last year, but it was still her season best.
Coming back to action since missing the U-20 World Championships, Shaili was excited about competing at her first National Games ahead of her event.
"I was demoralised after missing the U-20 Worlds. My coach (Robert Bobby George) helped me throughout. It would have been another chance for me to win a medal. As a sportsperson, I am coming back and it has made me more strong," Shaili told The Bridge about her comeback.
"I would meditate and it will help me calm my nerves. I caught up on a lot of things as during rehab we get all the time to see what we have missed," she said.
Hailing from the Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh, Shaili made long strides in her career after she won the gold medal at the National Junior Athletics Championship in 2018. Since then, Shaili has gone on to break the junior national record, win gold at the 2021 Inter-state Senior Athletics championship despite being a junior and clinch a silver medal at U-20 World Championships.
Shaili had also won the silver in the 2021 U-20 World Athletics Championship. She lost the gold by a margin of 1 cm in Nairobi. Talking about how she overcomes such loss at this young age, she credits it to her coach.
"Robert sir works as my psychologist. He keeps talking to me about how sportspersons should overcome losses. I have a senior also who keeps motivating me always. All these things make me stronger."
Shaili will now shift her aim towards the Asian Games which will be held next year and domestic tournaments such as Federation Cup and National Open Athletics.