Indian long-distance runner Sudha Singh has called it time on her international career at the age of 36. The two-time Olympian and the Asian Games gold medallist represented India internationally for over 13 years and has won multiple medals.
“It’s a difficult decision now, but it’s a harsh reality of life too,” Sudha Singh told Hindustan Times newspaper.
However, the Indian runner, who works for Indian Railways in Raebareli, will continue competing in domestic events
Born in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, Sudha Singh burst onto the national athletics scene after winning the 3000m steeplechase event at the 2007 National Games. She broke India’s national record at the national championships in Jamshedpur with the timing of 10:18.76 in the same year.
Sudha Singh dominated the 3000m steeplechase events across India for the next few years and clinched her first international medal at the 2009 Asian Championships by winning silver.
Sudha Singh’s biggest achievement came in 2010 with the introduction of women’s 3000m steeplechase at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Sudha Singh clocked 9:55.67 and pipped home-favourite Jin Yuan for the gold medal.
Sudha Singh went on to win her second silver medal at the Asian Championships in 2011 and rewrote her national record in June next year, clocking 9:47.70, to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.
At the London Summer Games, Sudha Singh finished 13th in her heats and could not make it to the finals.
Sudha Singh also qualified for Rio 2016 Olympics but once again missed out on a place in the 18-woman final after finishing ninth in the heats. Sudha Singh failed to make the cut for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
She missed a medal at the 2014 Asian Games by a whisker but returned to the Asian Games podium with a silver in 2018 in Jakarta.
Sudha Singh’s last gold medal in a major international event came at the Asian Championships in 2017. While Sudha Singh also ran marathons at international events, all of her major medals came in the 3000m steeplechase event.
Next, Sudha Singh will compete in the Indira Marathon in Prayagraj on November 19 and plans to build an athletics academy in Raebareli or Amethi.