"We're logging miles to build a good base for the 2022 season" - India's 3000m steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh

Sudha Singh during the Rio Olympics
Sudha Singh during the Rio Olympics

India’s 3000m steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh will focus on her pet event in 2022 after having switched to marathon running last season. To achieve her goals of a podium finish in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 2022 Asian Games, the 35-year-old former Asian Games gold medalist is currently attending a national camp in Bengaluru.

“My main target is to give my best at both the Commonwealth Games in August and Asian Games in September,” the Arjuna award winner told Sportskeeda over the phone.

Last year, Sudha turned to marathon running, but failed to achieve her goal of qualifying for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics held in July and August.

In the race to qualify for what would have been her third Olympics, she was able to compete in only one marathon on Indian soil, while her travel plans to compete in marathons abroad were curtailed due to the pandemic.

“Marathon is a long race and anything can happen despite good training. It also takes a two-three month gap before competing in the second race. So, I don’t want to focus on marathon races next year,” she said.

“There will be more opportunities in 2022 for me to achieve qualification time to compete at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in the 3000m steeplechase event,” the Padma Shri awardee added.

The athlete is looking to better her personal best of 9:26.55 seconds set in the 2016 Shanghai Diamond League.

Sudha won the women’s 3000m steeplechase gold at the 2010 Asian Games and silver at the 2018 edition in Jakarta. She also won gold at the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar.

A multiple medal winner at the continental level, Sudha is currently training with a group of steeplechase runners in Bengaluru. Jaiveer Singh, a retired international steeplechase runner, is the coach of the team.

"We're logging miles to build a good base for the 2022 season. The track sessions will start in January. Our first competition will be at the end of March,” she said.

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Edited by Sanjay Rajan
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