New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, on Tuesday praised long jumper Shaili Singh and said she has a great future ahead of her as she is following in the footsteps of Anju Bobby George.
The 17-year-old long jumper from Uttar Pradesh rewrote the U-20 National Record by jumping a distance of 6.48m during the inter-state athletics championships on Saturday in Patiala and rose to the world number 1 position in under-18 for the 2021 season.
"Miss Shaili Singh is great future hope for India. She created a new Long Jump national record (U20) 6.48m at National Inter State Athletics Championship. She is following in the footsteps of Anju Bobby George. Govt will continue to support talents like her. #IndianAthletics," Rijiju tweeted while sharing a video of achievements by Shaili Singh.
Shaili joined the Anju Bobby Sports Foundation in 2017 as a 14-year-old after being spotted by Robert Bobby George, who helped Anju Bobby George to India's lone senior athletics Worlds medal in 2003. The youngster has since grown leaps and bounds, breaking the junior national record multiple times.
"Soon.. within 4 years she will break my record," Anju Bobby George said in the video. The current national record is held by Anju who achieved this feat by jumping 6.83m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens that brought her to the fifth position.
Born in a humble family, Shaili was raised by a single mother who worked as a tailor to meet their family needs, which also includes her two siblings. Earlier Anju Bobby George also lavished praises on Shaili as she broke the national record. "So proud of Shaili's feat! A jump of 6.48m to create a new NR, and up her U-20 world ranking to No. 1( U-18 youth category). This is an extremely emotional moment for all us, considering all the hard work and effort we have put in to come this far. Onwards and upwards!" she tweeted. (ANI)