Hurdler Siddhanth in the form of his life

On Sunday, despite the entry standard for this year’s Rio Olympics being an intimidating 13.47s, 25-year-old Siddhanth Thingalaya proved that he is ready for the challenge by breaking his own four-year-old national record. The athlete clocked 13.59s while winning the ‘B’ final at the Sprint Elite Meet at Clermont in Florida to come a few steps closer to his goal.

Siddhanth broke the indoor national 60m hurdles record twice in two American meets in Seattle and Arizona early this year.   -  PTI

Four years ago, a hamstring injury after the ninth hurdle virtually forced Siddhanth Thingalaya to limp to the finish at the Belgian Athletics Championship in Brussels. Despite the pain, the Mumbai youngster broke his own national record in the 110m hurdles, bringing it down to 13.65s, but painfully missed qualifying for the London Olympics by five-hundredth of a second.

Watching him wince in agony after missing the ‘B’ qualifying standard of 13.60s then was Australian Sally Pearson, his training partner, who went on to win the women’s sprint hurdles Olympic gold in London.

Breaks own National record

On Sunday, despite the entry standard for this year’s Rio Olympics being an intimidating 13.47s (there is no ‘B’ standard now), the 25-year-old Siddhanth proved that he is ready for the challenge by breaking his own four-year-old national record.

The ONGC athlete clocked 13.59s while winning the ‘B’ final at the Sprint Elite Meet at Clermont in Florida to come a few steps closer to his goal. "Broke the national record with 13.59s, making me get back into the game after the fall. God’s good, season’s good, am good," wrote a very happy Siddhanth on his Facebook page after the impressive effort.

Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, one of the country’s finest athletes ever, was the last Indian to run in the Olympics in the 110 hurdles and he finished an impressive fifth at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo.

Siddhanth appears to be in fine form this year. He broke the indoor national 60m hurdles record twice in two American meets in Seattle and Arizona early this year, improving it to 7.80s. "Getting my execution right… loved hurdling, will always do," he exclaimed after that run.

Well, this could be his happy year.

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