While her mentor and coaches Robert Bobby George and Anju George, expect her to win medals at Olympics and World events in the years to come, Shaili Singh showed a glimpse of what she is capable of as she claimed the women’s long jump silver with a personal best 6.59m at the World Athletics under-20 championships in Nairobi on Sunday. The 17-year-old from Jhansi missed the gold by just one centimetre to Sweden’s Maja Askag.
After a couple of what could be termed mediocre jumps of 6.34m, Shaili produced the big effort, even bettering her personal best by 11cm which saw her go to the top of the pack for a brief period before European champion Askag came up with the 6.60m that secured her a gold. This was Askag's second gold of the championships after her triple jump win earlier.
The video of Shaili's medal-ensuring jump is going viral on the Internet. Journalist Nikhil Naz also shared the video on Twitter. "The leap that won Shaili Singh the silver. India's 7th medal ever at the World Athletics U20 C'ship. Missed the Gold by just 1cm," he captioned the video.
Check out the video here:
Shaili’s silver is the first long jump medal at the Under-20 Worlds. To date, Anju George's 2003 Worlds long jump bronze is India’s lone medal at the ‘senior’ Worlds.
"I could have jumped farther than the 6.59m and won the gold. My mother had told me about winning gold and the national anthem being sung in the stadium (but I could not do it)," Shaili said after the race.
"I am just 17, I want gold in the next U20 World Championships (in Cali, Colombia). There is also Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year and I want to do well in those events," she added.