Sudha Singh: Amazed to be named for Padma Shri, perhaps the greatest snapshot of life

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She believed herself to be deserving of it however veteran marathon runner Sudha Singh was in any case astounded when her name figured in this year Padma Shri awards winners’ list.

Sudha Singh, the 34 years old from Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh joined a world class rundown of Olympic style sports Padma champs involving any semblance of Milkha Singh, Anju Bobby George and PT Usha among others. She got selected during the current year’s award by the Uttar Pradesh government.

In an PTI interview Sudha told that, “ I was little surprised when I got the news that I have been awarded Padma Shri. I deserved to win it but you never know you will get it or not. I am thankful to the UP chief Minister for nominating me.”

From Bengaluru’s sports Authority of India Centre she said, “I have won many laurels at the international level and I feel the award is recognition of my hard work and dedication in the last 15 years. Certainly winning award is one of the biggest moments in my life.”

“When I started my athletics career, I had no idea that I would win Padma Shri one day. It has been a wonderful journey.”

Sudha has taken part in two Olympics, three Asian games , two World Championships and four Asian Championships, her best achievement till date is in  2010 Asian Games where she won a gold and in the same event in 2018 edition of the games she won a silver. In 2017 Asian Championships she won a gold besides three silver (2009,2011 and 2013).

She said, “I got a job in the Western Railways after the (team) bronze in Asian Cross-Country Championships in the year 2005. I didn’t want to lose the job which would have led to leaving athletics also. But after winning gold in National Games in 2007 and National Championships in 2007, 2008, 2009 before claiming a silver in Asian Championships in 2009 there was no fear of losing job.”

Most of all her international achievements have come in 3000m steeplechase but Sudha is aiming for her third Olympics in marathon.

“3000m steeplechase is not my priority as I want to quality for the Tokyo Olympics in marathon. I am going to run in the New Delhi Marathon in March and there I am aiming Olympics qualification. Also I want to break the national record, let’s see,” Sudha said.

Sudha has marathon personal best of 2:34.56 sec had clocked while finishing 10th in the Mumbai Marathon in year 2019.

The Tokyo Olympics qualification time is 2:29.30 whereas the national record stands at 2:34:43 in the name of OP Jaisha.