Sudha Singh: 10 things to know about India's steeplechaser at the Rio Olympics 2016
Sudha Singh will be representing India at the Rio Olympics 2016 in the 3000m steeplechase event along with Lalita Babar, as the national record holder looks to have a podium finish at the Games. Here are 10 facts about the runner that you probably did not know about her:
#1 Sudha Singh was born on 25 June 1986 in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh. The Mumbai-based 3000m steeplechase runner works for the Indian Railways in Central Zone.
#2 She took special sea-level training in Italy and Kenya to improve her stamina and better her performance as a middle distance runner in her event.
#3 She represented India at the 2012 London Olympics after breaking her own record in the qualifications for the games at the eighth meeting of Iberoamericano de Atletismo Championship in June 2012 with a timing of 9:47.70.
#4 She represented India at the 2010 Asian Games in China and clinched the gold medal in her event with a timing of 9:55:67. She broke the national record held by Santhi Soundarajan – who had clocked 10:44.65 seconds at the National Championships in 2007.
#5 She won the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea despite finishing fourth, one place behind compatriot Lalita Babar as gold medallist Ruth Jebet was disqualified for stepping inside the track before crossing the finishing line. Babar had broken Sudha’s national record in the race with a timing of 9:35:37.
#6 Sudha created history in May 2016 by finishing eighth in the second leg of the IAAF Diamond League Meet in Shanghai, where she smashed the national record by clocking 9:25:55 in the race.
#7 She qualified for the 3000m steeplechase event at Olympics but finished second behind Lalita Babar during the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi in April 2016. She qualified for the marathon for the Games when she clocked 2:35:35 in the World Championships in China last year.
“This is the first race for me in the 3000m steeplechase event, since the 2014 Asian Games. Hence, I was very tentative about my chances so far. But, I'm really happy and hope to participate in various international tournaments, ahead of Rio.”
#8 Sudha is being coached by Nikolai Snesraev along with her team-mate Lalita Babar. Sudha and Lalita have a fierce rivalry going on as both look to better each other with every race they participate in. But, they are good friends off the track.
#9 She has broken the national record 7 times in 5 years and is considered to be one of the best middle distance runners to come out of India.
#10 She is also the winner of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2014 in the half marathon category and was the runners-up at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in 2014.