Anju Bobby George feels Shaili Singh’s time is coming : The Tribune India

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Anju Bobby George feels Shaili Singh’s time is coming

Anju Bobby George feels Shaili Singh’s time is coming

Teenager Shaili Singh won her first international medal at the senior level on Sunday.


New Delhi, May 22

Legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George feels that her protege Shaili Singh can “conquer” the world in four to five years, emulating javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.

On Sunday, Shaili won bronze for her first international medal at the senior level with a jump of 6.65 metres in her first global competition at the Seiko Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour gold-level meet, in Yokohama, Japan.

Earlier this year, Shaili had logged 6.76m at the Indian Grand Prix, the all-time second-longest jump by an Indian woman after Anju herself. Anju’s national record of 6.83m made in 2004 still stands.

“For a 19-year-old, the distance she has jumped is incredible. At 19, she has jumped 6.76m. She is a rare talent and we have to groom her very carefully so that she becomes one of the world’s best when she matures,” Anju said. “She has to get used to this kinds of things, competing against some of the best in the world and winning medals. In four or five years, it will be Shaili and Neeraj conquering the world among women and men, respectively.”

Anju, the lone Indian woman to win a World Championships medal, back in 2003, and her husband Robert Bobby George had spotted Shaili in 2017 when she was just 13.

Shaili is currently training under Robert, who is also a high-performance coach under the Sports Authority of India at the National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.

Anju said the bronze in Japan will be the first step in Shaili’s transition from a talented athlete to a medal-winner at the global level.

“This medal will do a world of good to her confidence. You need this kind of competitions and honours to make the transition. Age is on her side and she will achieve more in the coming years. I am hoping that Shaili can win at least a medal in the Asian Games and also qualify for the (2023) World Championships in Budapest. This is a big year,” she added.

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