Young long jumper Shaili wins bronze in Japan in her first global senior competition

Yokohama,21 May (PTI): Talented Indian youngster Shaili Singh won a bronze medal with a creditable effort of 6.65m in the women’s long jump at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix here on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Shaili’s first round jump of 6.65m remained her best in the World Athletics Continental Tour gold level event, though it was 11cm below her personal best. Her effort was, though, wind assisted at +2.1 m/s speed which is above the permissible limit of +2.0 m/s. She was leading the competition event till the third round. Maryse Luzolo of Germany took the gold with a wind-assisted jump of 6.79m, while 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Brooke Buschkuehl of Australia was second with an effort of 6.77m.

”She (Shaili Singh) won a bronze medal at Yokohama today and it’s a big achievement for her. She is just 19 and was the youngest competitor there in Japan. Both the gold and silver winners were nearly 30-year-olds,” Shaili’s idol and mentor Anju Bobby George told PTI.

Incidentally, Anju had also won a gold in the same competition in 2004.

”She has a bright future, no doubt about that,” said Anju, India’s first medal winner in any world championship event, with a long jump bronze in the 2003 edition in Paris.

Shaili, who competed under Sports Authority of India’s High Performance coach Robert Bobby George at the National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru, was competing in her first global competition at the senior level. She had won a silver in the World U-20 Athletics Championships in 2021 with a jump of 6.59m.

She is also a part of the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) developmental group.

In April, Shaili had logged 6.76m, the all-time second longest long jump by an Indian woman after Anju, en route to winning a gold at the Indian Grand Prix.

In February, she had finished fifth at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Nur-Sultan with a jump of 6.27m.