Steeplechase exponent Sudha Singh on right track
Steeplechase exponent Sudha Singh wants to use tomorrow's Mumbai Marathon as a launch pad to succeed in April's Commonwealth Games Down Under
India's Sudha Singh won gold in the Asian Athletic Championships 3000m-steeplechase event in Bhubaneshwar last July. Pic/PTI
Asian and Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medal-winner Sudha Singh, 31, feels participating in Sunday's Tata Mumbai Marathon just three months before the Commonwealth Games (April 4-15) to be held in Gold Coast, Australia, will help her improve her pace Down Under. "I haven't run a full marathon after 2016. Hence, I took part in the Delhi half marathon last year to boost my confidence. I'm glad I achieved my personal best (1:11:30s) there and came second."
Eye on timing
"My main aim will be to give my best at the Commonwealth and Asian Games this year. In order to achieve that, I aim to finish the full marathon in Mumbai in less than two hours and 33 minutes. "Running a marathon will help me improve my pace for the steeplechase events at CWG and the Asiad," said Sudha, who works as a chief ticket inspector with Central Railway and is posted at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Sudha was in Sidhpur near Dharamsala where she trained under coach Dr Nikolai Snesarev. "We have been training here since March last year. I hope this helps me achieve my target in Mumbai and at the Asian Games, CWG," explained Sudha, who hasn't visited her family in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh since December 2016.
The champion athlete doesn't plan to visit them anytime before the Asian Games (18 August-2 September).
No time for family
"What I miss most is meeting my family and celebrating festivals with them. For instance, I lost my 'badi maa' [aunty] recently, but I couldn't go for the funeral. I plan to go home only after the Asian Games," added the JSW-sponsored athlete. After the Mumbai Marathon, she plans to gradually switch to training for track races. "I will devote February to speed work. The Federation Cup which is scheduled in the first week of March in Patiala is crucial as it is the qualifying event for the CWG. "That will give me a chance to evaluate my performance," she said.
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