Shaili Singh, the next big star in Indian athletics
- Shaili Singh was raised by a single mother
- She currently trains at the academy of Anju Bobby George
- Shaili has won gold in the U-16 category at the Junior National athletics championship
Shaili Singh is a 17-year-old Indian athlete who won a silver medal in the U-20 World Athletics Championships, Nairobi. A protege of the legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George, Shaili produced a personal best effort of 6.59m in the U-20 athletics meet.
Shaili is considered one of the brightest upcoming stars in Indian athletics. The athlete from Jhansi was raised by a single mother, who worked as a tailer. The long jumper currently trains at the academy of Anju Bobby George in Bengaluru. She is coached by Anju's husband Robert.
Before her exploits in the U-20 athletics meet in Nairobi, she had won the women's long jump event at the National (Senior) Inter-State Championships in June with an effort of 6.48m, her previous personal best. She is also the current U-18 world No. 2 and U-20 national record holder.
According to media reports, Robert has been training Shaili for almost four years. She was spotted by Robert at the junior national championships and was eventually recruited by him. Despite finishing fifth, Shaili was invited to train at Anju Bobby George's academy.
Shaili has also clinched the elusive yellow metal in the U-16 category at the Junior National athletics championship in Ranchi in 2018. In 2019, she broke her own record in Under-18s by jumping 6.15 meters to win the gold medal at the Junior National Athletics competition in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
'Could've jumped farther'
"I could have jumped farther than the 6.59m and won the gold. My mother had told me about winning gold and national anthem being sung in the stadium (but I could not do it)," news agency PTI quoted Shaili as saying.
"I am just 17, I want a gold in next U20 World Championships (in Cali, Colombia). There is also Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year and I want to do well in those events," she added.
In her own words, this is how Shaili's athletics career started. "I was doing some running here when I was at school. Then I went to a hostel in Lucknow and my mother asked me if I am interested in athletics. I said yes and I joined hostel (in Lucknow) in September 2017 and then camp in 2018."