As the sun set in at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Friday,there were numerous faces in the stands who were waiting for the 200m race in boys U-20 to begin. However,they were disappointed when they could not see the face they wanted to among the athletes: Husandeep Singh,the strapping boy from Chandigarh. He skipped the 200m race due to stomach pain.
Husandeep had emerged as the fastest athlete of the 29th Junior National Athletics Championship on Thursday. He won gold in the 100m race in the boys U-20 category. His timing of 10.59s was 0.06 second faster than Sujith Kuttan of Kerala who had created a meet record three years ago.
Its a dream come true for me and I am very excited. This is my personal best timing. I wanted to take part in the 200m race too but I missed it due to stomach pain, Husandeep told Newsline over the phone from Bangalore.
Last year,Husandeep had won a gold in 200m while he missed out on a podium finish in the 100m,finishing fourth.
Husandeeps performance was not unexpected. Those who have been following his development will vouch that he was eager to explode onto the national scene. His performance in the last five months,starting from August,has been nothing short of exemplary.
After missing out on the 100m heat in the Asian track and field championship that rendered him out of the competition,Husandeep started his dream run by finishing as the fastest athlete in boys U-20 in 100m race in the 25th North Zone junior athletics championship at Aligarh in September. After finishing overall 10th in the National Open Athletics Championship in Chennai in September,he took his performance to another level by winning three silver medals in the 2nd South Asian junior athletics championship held at Ranchi last month. He won silver in 100m,200m and 4X100m relay and also improved his personal best to 10.64s in 100m and 21.63s in 200m.
He warmed up for the junior nationals by helping DAV College,Sector 10,where he is a student of BA-I,win the Panjab University Inter-College athletics (men) championship. As expected,he was named the best athlete of the championship.
Now with a gold and a new meet record in the junior nationals,Husandeep has ended the year on a high. The last few months have been exceptional. Apart from winning the medals,now I am looking forward to joining the senior national camp. I have been told my name has been included in the senior national camp; I am just waiting for the confirmation, said the 19-year-old,who belongs to Khanna but has been based in Mohali for the last 15 years.
Husandeeps tryst with athletics began when his father Surinder Singh,an athlete who competed at the state level in the 1980s,inspired him to take up the sport. Four years ago,he started performing at district level. Under coach Rama Shankar Prasad,he signalled his arrival at the big stage by winning bronze in 100m in Youth National Championship in Bangalore.
I am all focused on the Commonwealth Games to be held next year. I am hopeful of making it to the Indian squad, he added.