A stress fracture has ruined India's national record holder in men's 10,000m Surendra Kumar Singh's chance to represent the country in his second consecutive Olympic Games. After competing in the Beijing Games, his London dreams are all but over due to nagging foot injury.
He had sustained the fracture at the fag end of the 2009 season, but now the injury has become chronic. "With moderate training, there is no pain, but it aggravates with heavy workload. I can't train hard at this moment," said the Army runner, watching the men's 10,000m race in the Federation Cup from the sidelines.
Suresh Kumar, who won the race, clocked 29:16min, which was at least a minute slower than the 'B' standard for Olympic qualification (28:05.00). Between 2007-2009, Surendra was considered the most consistent distance runner in the country. He not only broke Hari Chand's 32-year-old record in 2008, clocking 28:22.79 at Watford (England), but also lowered his mark to 28:02.89 the same year in Vigo (Spain). The record stands.
He blames extensive training and little recovery time for the chronic injury. "There was too much of hard work and little recovery time in the camp. I wasn't able to cope with that," said Surendra. At the Beijing Games, he clocked a creditable 28:13.97 to finish overall 26th. He was also considered a medal prospect for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
But in 2009, he took part in at least one-and-a-half dozen 5,000 and 10,000m races. According to Surendra, it resulted in stress fracture and sidelined him from active competition. "I should have participated in fewer races," he told HT.