Anuradha Singh, a long distance runner from Bhopal, ran her heart out to cover the distance from the dusty, concrete roads of Bhopal to the red synthetic smooth track of Belfast, Northern Ireland within four years.
Anuradha (23), surmounted all the hurdles of her life, to make a name as an international athlete.
Anuradha Singh, who represents India, won three gold medals and a silver medal in the track and field event at the World Police Games held in Belfast, northern Ireland from August 4 to 10.
“There is no gain without pain,” said an elated Anuradha, recalling: “When I started to run, I was unable to afford sports shoes so I used to run barefoot. I never wasted time in complaining about lack of facilities because I don’t want to allow my mind to find excuses for my failure.”
Anuradha Singh, a woman constable in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Bhopal, always dreamt of being a sportsperson.
Her dream came true four years ago when CISF coach SK Prasad chose her for a longdistance running event.
Prasad said, “When she started, she lost many events due to lack of confidence. I decided to take her to a big event to boost her confidence. I took her to Airtel Marathon (21km) held at Delhi in 2009. After seeing the crowd and renowned runners, she got nervous and told me that she can’t compete with them.”
“I told her if you lose the marathon, you would lose nothing but if you win, it could change your life and she followed my words. I saw a more confident Anuradha emerge. She not only performed well but also won a silver medal. It was the start of her career,” he added.
She practices on the concrete road.
She runs 25-30 km daily from CISF ground, Govindpura to Raisen road as the only athletics track of Bhopal in TT Nagar Stadium is in poor shape.
Prasad said, “Anuradha often receives injuries while running on the road but she never complains.
Even, adverse weather conditions cannot hold her back.”
“She has the ability to reach the Olympics but she requires certain facilities,” Prasad said.
To begin with Anuradha needs high altitude training and physiotherapy, he added.