The 24-year-old javelin thrower is currently practicing in NIS Patiala.
Indian javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, who has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, is satisfied with his qualification but is disappointed to miss out on the coveted Diamond Series. The Diamond series would have been a great warmup for the athlete where he would have gone head to head against the world’s best javelin throwers.
The Diamond Series consists of eight events in a 14 leg tournament where only top players are invited all over the world. The future of the series is currently up in the air with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and an uncertainty looms over athletic events which were scheduled for this year.
The Diamond League meets that were scheduled till June 13 have been postponed for the pandemic which has killed more than two lakhs people all around the globe. There is only one meet which is still at par with the schedule is the one on London on July 4. The grand final is also scheduled on September 11 in Zurich.
“It was a great feeling to be able to compete with the best in the world last year and I was looking forward to the Diamond League action this year also. But the COVID-19 has turned the world upside down and my plans are also affected, ” Shivpal Singh told PTI.
“It is a relief to have qualified for the Olympics before the lockdown due to coronavirus. But the disappointment is that the Diamond League series are not being held. We don’t know whether the remaining legs will happen or not,” he added.
Shivpal Singh clinched the silver medal at the Asian Championship last year with a personal record throw of 86.23m. He took part in the Diamond League Series at Oslo where he finished eighth.
The Varanasi-born javelin thrower confirmed his Olympic qualification on March 10 at his training base in South Africa before the sporting world came to a standstill. He is the second javelin thrower after Neeraj Chopra to qualify for the Olympics as he has also crossed the 85m mark with a record throw of 85.47m throw at the Olympics qualification.
“Last year was an eventful one and my performance was going up. I was gaining confidence and my graph was on the rise. But suddenly, the coronavirus happened and everything is uncertain now,” the 24-year-old quipped.
“I was expecting a lot this year but now the whole season is in doubt. For me, this is a big set back.”
Shivpal Singh shares a healthy competition with Neeraj Chopra and is confident about breaking his national record throw of 88.06m.
“When I qualified for the Olympics in South Africa, I had not given my full strength, I had thrown the javelin in low speed,” he claimed.
“I was targetting the 88m mark during Federation Cup ( which was scheduled on April 10-13 but was later postponed) The target given by my coach was 90m.”
Shivpal Singh returned to home safely from South Africa before the international flights were cancelled. He is currently training indoors at NIS Patiala amidst the nationwide lockdown.
“Nobody is allowed outdoor training. So, I do some core work strength-building training inside the room on the area just outside the room. Otherwise, I spend time listening to music and watching movies on my phone or laptop.”
“I am not getting bored but it is tough also to remain without outdoor training for long. It has been more than one month now. But what can we do? We also have to follow the rules and the guidelines of the government,” he added.
“The federation is hoping to have some competitions later in the year, let us wait and see. I am just waiting for this pandemic to be controlled and sports competitions to begin.”