Touted as the heir to the legendary Anju Bobby George, promising 19-year-old Shaili Singh is aiming to win a gold medal at the upcoming Asian Games, which would be the biggest achievement of her fledgling career.

Shaili, who recently won her first world medal – a bronze – at the prestigious Seiko Gold Grand Prix in Japan, is currently the Asian leader (No. 17 in the world this season) based on her jump of 6.76m at the Indian Grand Prix in Bengaluru in April.

The effort was also the second-longest jump by an Indian woman, behind her mentor Anju Bobby George’s 19-year-old national record of 6.83 metres.

“My coach and I are preparing for the gold medal (at the Asian Games). We are ready for that. We are working hard to get to the level of performance to achieve that,” Shaili told PTI on Saturday.

“After that win (in Japan), I wasn’t so good. But now I’m at my best. I did well in the Indian Grand Prix and also in Japan, so I’m confident I’ll do my best everywhere,” she said before her event. Sunday’s National Interstate Championships here.

At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, the gold medalist jumped 6.55m, while India’s Nina Varakil took the silver clearing 6.51m.

Shaili trains under Anju’s husband Robert, who is also a High Performance Coach at the Sports Authority of India’s National Center of Excellence in Bengaluru.

Shaili, who is representing Uttar Pradesh, will face Varakhel and other more experienced jumpers like Ansi Sujan and Nayana James in the National Interstate Championship.

“Competing with seniors gives you confidence in a way but at the same time makes you nervous. It will be good for me and I will enjoy it.” Shaili will compete at the Asian Championships in Thailand from July 12-16. She is also on the account of the World Championships (August 19-27) in Budapest, Hungary.

Although she has yet to crack the 6.85m automatic qualification mark for the World Championships, Shailey could make it to the World Championships long jump event – in which 36 athletes will compete – through the world ranking stakes. It is currently in 35th position in the Road to Budapest chart by World Athletics.

“I am competing in the Asian Championships this month, then the World Championships in August and the Asian Games after that. I am preparing for these three major events.” Asked about the wet weather here, she said, “In Bangalore, I trained for all kinds of weather, so I acclimate to all kinds of weather. I don’t see any problem because of this weather.

“Last year I had a back injury and because of that I missed several months. Coming back was tough last year. I am now fully fit and ready to compete.”


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