Shaili Singh missed the gold medal by just one centimeter Shaily is considered a big star of Indian athletics Anju Bobby George said I would be happy if Shaili breaks my record New Delhi
When Anju Bobby George first saw Shaili Singh, she was a small, slender girl who was not even among the top three athletes with her, but the famous long jump athlete decided to coach her. This is because Anju saw a player like her in style who never gives up.
Shelly was 13 at the time and finished fifth in the long jump in the national competition. Now 17 years old, she has made her presence felt on the big stage by winning a silver medal at the Under-20 World Championships. She missed out on a gold medal in the women’s long jump in Nairobi on Sunday by just a centimeter.
Shelly is considered the big star of Indian athletics.
Born in Jhansi, she was brought up by her mother. She missed out on joining the ranks of Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra and 400m sprinter Hima Das, who won gold medals in the event in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Shelly, however, is touted as the next big star of Indian athletics. “Obviously her body and muscles are conducive to long jump and when I saw her determination I knew she would go a long way,” Anju said.
Under-20 World Athletics Championship: Mother sews clothes, daughter made history by ‘jumping silver’, missed gold by just one centimeter
‘Style is very similar to mine’
Anju, who won a bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships, said, “Later on I found that she learns very quickly. Always striving to improve and never give up. In short, he is very much like me.
The competition Anju referred to is the National Junior Championships held in Vijayawada in November 2017. Shelly then competed in the long jump in the girls’ 12-14 age group and finished fifth with 4.64m.
But her spirit of never giving up caught the attention of Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach and Anju’s husband Robert Bobby George. A few days later, Anju saw Shelly at the National Inter State Junior Athletics Meet in Visakhapatnam and decided to coach her.
Anju said, ‘Robert told me about it. After that I went to Visakhapatnam and I saw him. I thought she would go a long way. I saw him in November 2017 and decided to bring him under my and Robert’s supervision in April 2018. She joined SAI center in Bangalore. Robert’s coaching helped him a lot. This young player was later included in the development group of the Lakshya Olympic podium program. He also got support from the Olympic Gold Quest organization.
Shelly did her best in the Under-20 World Championship
Shelly’s first individual best performance was 6.48m, which she achieved at the National Interstate Championships in June. Now he gave his best performance in the Under-20 World Championship.
According to Anju, ‘This shows his ability. Robert had set a target of 6.60 meters for her and she was only one centimeter behind. That too he achieved in his first international competition.
Robert had said on Sunday that Shelly could break Anju’s national record of 6.83m in three years. To this Anju said, ‘He has a lot of potential. I am sure she will break it within three years. I will be very happy if she breaks my record.