From Jhansi to Budapest via Bangalore: Remarkable Journey of Shaili Singh to the Athletics World Championship Stage

Shaili Singh

At just 19 years old, Shaili Singh is set to take the spotlight at the Athletics World Championship after an extraordinary journey from her hometown of Jhansi to the global stage. Five years ago, Shaili had minimal knowledge of long jump techniques, but on Saturday, she will proudly make her World Championship debut, a testament to her dedication and coach Bobby George’s keen eye.

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Her journey began with a less-than-perfect jump at the 2017 Junior National Championships, where she struggled to find her footing and technique. However, coach Bobby George saw something unique in her that couldn’t be measured by performance alone. Despite her raw skills, Bobby observed her body language and potential, which led to her inclusion in his training program in 2018.

Fast forward to the present, Shaili is India’s rising star in long jump. Her meteoric rise started with that shaky jump in Guntur, demonstrating the power of a coach’s vision beyond just technical proficiency.

Shaili’s remarkable journey from a novice to a global competitor is a tribute to her perseverance and her coach’s insightful coaching methods. Despite not even knowing what a crucial technique like the hitch-kick was, Shaili’s potential was recognized by coach Bobby, setting her on a trajectory towards success.

The support of her coach and the trust of her mother, Vineetha, have been essential to Shaili’s journey. Despite financial struggles and societal norms, Vineetha encouraged Shaili to pursue her dreams in sports. With determination and dedication, Shaili not only excelled in long jump but also shattered U-16, U-18, and U-20 national records. Her achievements have silenced doubters and inspired young girls in her hometown to pursue sports, challenging rigid stereotypes.

Shaili’s upcoming World Championship debut is a culmination of her hard work, her coach’s guidance, and her family’s unwavering support. Bobby George’s coaching philosophy, which focuses on long-term targets, physical fitness, and holistic development, has been crucial to Shaili’s growth as an athlete and an individual.

As she steps onto the World Championship stage, Shaili acknowledges the enormity of her journey, from not understanding long jump techniques to competing among the world’s best athletes. Her humble perspective on her accomplishments reflects her gratitude for the opportunity and her dedication to continuous improvement.

Shaili’s journey from Jhansi to Budapest stands as a testament to the transformative power of coaching, determination, and family support. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, reminding them that with the right guidance and unwavering dedication, they too can overcome obstacles and make their mark on the global stage.