Aishwarya Babu is currently cooling off after capping an impressive National Interstate Athletics Championships in Chennai earlier this month.
The athlete competed in two events: her pet triple jump event and the long jump event. She created two new records in the process as well.
Aishwarya Babu became only the second Indian after Anju Bobby George to breach the 6.70m mark in the long jump event. Later, in the triple jump, she shattered a 11-year-old national record to leap 14.14m and break Mayookha Johny's record of 14.11m set in 2011.
The Bengaluru-based athlete is gearing up for her maiden biggest event, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. It will be the first time Aishwarya Babu will be competing on such a big stage and the athlete is gunning to give her best. Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, she said:
"The Commonwealth Games will be my first international tournament and qualifying for a tournament at this level is extremely humbling. I am very happy to be donning Indian colours at CWG 2022."
Aishwarya Babu's favored event is the triple jump but she has been making waves in the long jump too. While many international athletes do compete in both, qualifying for the long jump event at CWG came as a pleasant surprise for the youngster.
"I will be competing in both the long jump and the triple jump in Birmingham. There will be a gap between the long jump event and the triple jump event which will help me recover and get ready in time for the next event," she said.
Aishwarya Babu focusing on "finer points" in training ahead of CWG
Preparing for big events is not new for Aishwarya Babu as she hails from a family of sportspeople. Her uncle was a national-level decathlete and she came up the ranks through the DYES Sports School.
With a first international medal at stake, Aishwarya Babu is ensuring that she ticks all the required boxes. Along with coach BP Aiyappa, Aishwarya is working on the nuances of her game and is hoping for a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games. She explained:
"Yes, a Commonwealth Games medal is on my radar. I have set a target of getting close to 14.30m at the Commonwealth Games. I have been practising to clear the 14m mark this year and I am glad I was successful. It is time to expand my boundaries and aim higher and I know I am capable of getting there."
Checkout the complete Commonwealth Games 2022 medal tally here.
Divulging details on the training regime she has adapted to achieve her goal, Aishwarya said:
"Yes, getting close to the 14.30m mark is not going to be easy. I am focusing on the strength, power, technique and jump sections of my game. My coach is confident of me getting to that mark and I am hoping I will be able to achieve it. I am now focusing on the finer points of my training."
"Since the Games are just around the corner, my coach has devised a training plan accordingly. We are focusing on weight and strength related training for one session. The second session is usually light training or a rest session."
"I take motivation from my mother" - Aishwarya Babu
Aishwarya Babu isn't one to forget her roots. She is fuelled by her mother's dreams of making her an international athlete. The athlete explained:
"I take motivation from my mother. She has struggled to see me here. She had a dream of making her daughter an international sportsperson and here I am today. It feels great to have fulfilled my mother's dream."
"I still have a long way to go - a good showing in the Commonwealth Games is my target. The thought of keeping my mother and family happy is a big motivating factor."
Aishwarya was also quick to thank her coach BP Aiyappa for his faith in her abilities. She termed CWG 2022 as the "perfect platform" for her to prove her mettle and achieve her and her coach's dreams.
"I owe a lot to my coach too. He has been instrumental in fueling my dreams in the right direction. He has high hopes on me and CWG is the perfect platform for me to repay the faith he has in me," she added.
The best in the business will be descending in Birmingham for this year's Commonwealth Games. Out of them all, Aishwarya Babu is hoping to meet Yulimar Rojas, the world record holder in the triple jump, and pick her brains. She concluded:
"She is a world record holder and I would love to meet her and shake hands."
The 2022 Commonwealth Games is scheduled to begin on July 28.