Long jumper Shaili Singh aiming to clinch CWG medal says coach

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Shaili Singh, the young long jumper who rose to fame last year by clinching silver at the World U-20 Championships, has made a steady recovery from a back injury and contracting COVID, and her coach Robert Bobby George says the youngster will be aiming for a medal finish at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Nine months since clinching the silver at the World Championships, in which she made a wind assisted 6.59m jump, Shaili is just days away from competing at the upcoming Indian Grand Prix-4 in Bhubaneswar set to take place on 24th May.

The 18-year-old, who studies at the St. Patrick School in Bengaluru, sustained COVID-19 back in January during the spread of the third wave of the virus, but made a remarkable recovery from breathing difficulties.

“Her speed and strength have improved. It’s a big factor when your speed improves, your body is free, you benefit a lot,” said Robert in an interview with Sportstar, “In fact, in the 30m sprint, she has already achieved the target I had set for her. Now, we have to convert that speed into her jumps. We are working on her rhythm right now.”

Back in February, Shaili stated that she was eager for her participation at the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China which was set to take place in September but was recently postponed to next year. Nonetheless, there will be plenty of domestic and international competitions for Shaili during the June-August window, including the Junior Worlds, senior Worlds and Commonwealth Games.

However, the teenager’s focus is on the CWG as Robert, who mentored his wife and Indian long jump legend Anju Bobby George to a bronze at the Paris Worlds back in 2003, says the target is on clinching a medal in Birmingham.

“We will be fighting for a Commonwealth medal. Many of the world’s best, including Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Nigerian Ese Brume (2021 world leader, 7.17m) will be there. Compared to that, the Asian Games should be a cake walk. The Commonwealth will almost be like World championships standard,” Robert added.

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