National record holder Sudha Singh will compete in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. But the marathon is not the talented sportswoman’s first sport of choice.
29-year-old Singh is also an Arjuna Awardee.
She first set the 3000m steeplechase record in 2007, and then again in 2016. Earlier this year, Singh won gold at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
The 2016 Rio Olympics will not be Singh’s first Olympic Games. She qualified for the London 2012 Olympics with a national record-breaking attempt; Singh had beaten her own personal best at the event. She was unable to medal in London, however, with a low finish in the steeplechase heat.
Earlier this year, Singh qualified for Rio 2016 at the Federation Cup in the Indian capital New Delhi, with a second-place finish at the tournament behind winner Lalita Babar, who has already qualified for the games.
The 29-year old secured India's only Olympic qualification from the event.
The Federation Cup had been Singh’s first tournament since the 2014 Asian Games, where she narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing 4th in the women’s 3000m steeplechase.
Singh will participate in the Rio Olympics as a marathoner rather than in the 3000m steeplechase on the advice of her coach. She won the Tata Steel Kolkata 25k in December 2015, and was the top Indian woman at the Airtel Mumbai Marathon in 2016; it was her sub 2 hour 45 minute finish that won her a marathon spot at the Olympics.