Highlights

  • Manjit Singh, a young boy from Haryana, Manjit Singh made a sparkling start as a sprinter in the year 2013.
  • He made his mark at the Federation Cup in 2014. However, he was plagued by injuries for the next couple of years.
  • He made a comeback in 2017 at the National Inter-state Championship in Guntur, Hyderabad. With the experience of his coach Amrish Kumar and his complete focus, he started training in Ooty.
  • His hard work and determination bore fruit, he brought home the Asiad gold in 800 metres after 36 years!
  • His win was a big surprise for the entire country. He got the better of his more famous compatriot and clocked a record-breaking timing of 1:46.15 minutes.
  • The champion is proudly going home to meet his newborn son now, while proudly displaying his gold medal.

 

Sprinting Towards Success – Manjit Singh

Manjit Singh KreedOn

Life gives us two choices. Either we can run away from our problems or we can run towards our dreams. Sometimes, there are too many obstacles in our way. Eventually we lose sight of the destination and focus only on avoiding the problems. However, every individual gets an excellent opportunity to give his or her very best and cross the finish line. Some lucky ones might get more than one, but for most of us, it is a do or die situation. Manjit Singh

He came from a humble family with limited means and over that, lost his job within two years. He did not have any sponsor or godfather to back him. However, he made the most of what he had. Moreover, when it really mattered, he made history! We are talking about the golden sprinter, Manjit Singh.

 

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 1 September 1989
  • Place of Birth: Ujhana, Haryana, India
  • Height: 1.76 m
  • Weight: 69 kg
  • Parents: Randhir Chahal and Bimala Devi
  • Spouse: Kiran Singh
  • Event: 800 metres, 1500 metres
  • Personal Bests:  800 metres – 1:46.15 and 1500 metres – 3.42.24
  • Coach: Amrish Kumar
  • Social Media: Instagram , Twitter

 

Family Background

  • His father, Randhir Chahal, is a simple milk seller involved in the dairy and cattle business. However, he himself is a former field athlete, with experience in shot put and discus throw. This exposure propelled his decision to support his son’s dream of becoming a world-class athlete.
  • His mother, Bimala Devi, has also supported her son’s dream from the very beginning. Manjit is married to Kiran and the couple has a five-month old son, Abhir.
  • Coming from humble means, the family support is the reason why Manjit never gave up on his dream. Even when he was jobless, his family members encouraged him to try harder. That push was the very motivation Manjit needed to sprint towards victory.

 

Training

  • Manjit gives army coach Amrish Kumar a lot of credit for the improvement in this timing. He has been training under him since 2017 in Ooty.  He analyzed his own race videos to understand and improve his mistakes.
  • Later, he was training in Bhutan with the other members of the athletics squad since June. The session played a crucial part in his Asian Games win, as he got acclimatized to high attitude.

In Guwahati he thought he would return around 1:48, but he finished second behind Jinson in 1:46.24. That was just the boost his career needed. He had promised to go home after only Asian Games gold. Now he will go home a happy man. I had told him to take advantage of the straight stretch in the last 100m”, the ectastic coach told the Times of India.

 

Interesting Facts

  • Manjit was training in Ooty and Bhutan for months before the Asian Games. He was so dedicated towards his training that he could not go and visit his own newborn son. After bringing home the gold, he went proudly to his new family.

Can you imagine what it is like for a father to not see his newborn son? I’ve wanted so much to meet him and hold him in my hands. I want to meet my son. I want to show him my gold and let him know what his father achieved,” Manjit told espn.in.

  • His wife, Kiran, is his biggest support. Due to his training, Manjit was coming home just once a year, but she handled everything back home to ensure that her husband can concentrate solely on his training.

Since Abhir was born, my husband has not come home, instead, training in Ooty and Bhutan. Even though he has been training without a job, he makes sure that he keeps sending Abhir gifts. But this gold medal is the biggest gift for him. When he returns, he would put the gold medal around his neck”, she told The Indian Express.

  • Manjit was working for ONGC from 2013 – 2016. He was fired from the job for being overage and not being able to complete targets. It was a very low phase for the athlete. Coming from a humble family, he had limited resources for training. He did not have any sponsor as well. Manjit was very close to giving up on his lifelong dream of being a renowned Indian athlete. However, his family supported him through this dark phase and helped him concentrate on his training.
  • When free, he loves to help his father in his agriculture and dairy business.
  • He also loves to spend time by listening to music and going on long drives.

 

The Journey towards Gold

Asian Games 2018 winning moment for Manjit Singh KreedOn
Asian Games 2018 winning moment for Manjit Singh
  • At the 2013 Asian Athletics Championships in Pune, he clocked 1:49.70 minutes and finished fourth in the men’s 800 metres race.
  • He went on to win a silver medal in the 2014 Federation Cup. Though he came second place in the 800-metre event, he could not qualify for the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games.
  • There was a lull of almost two years due to an injury.
  • He made a sparkling comeback in 2017 at the National Inter-state Championship in Hyderabad. He won the silver in the 800 metres event by clocking the time 1:48.04 minutes. The event in Guntur is special for Manjit as he also clocked his personal best then of 3:49.30 in the 1500 metres race.
  • The year 2018 started on a good note for the sprinter. He clocked his personal bests in both 800metres and 1500 metres at the Patiala Federation Cup held in March. The superb timing also helped him qualify for the Asian Games.
  • He trained very hard to grab the Asian Games opportunity with both hands.

 

Asian Games 2018

  • Manjit Singh made history by bringing home the 800m gold after 36 years! Charles Borromeo held the previous record in 1982. Sriram Singh is also a part of the illustrious club. It was not an easy win though. Manjit was not leading for most part of the race.
  • Indian sprinter Johnson Jinson and Abdalla Abubaker from Qatar were busy in their own tussle. Nobody expected the person who had uneventful domestic seasons in the last few years to suddenly get the better of them.
  • Then, the one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 Asiads took place. Manjit gave his all to leap ahead of his opponents, clock and win, perhaps, the most important race of his life.
  • The less popular Manjit Singh dethroned Johnson, who clocked 1:46.35. It was a proud moment for all Indians as two fellow citizens won the top honors.

Yes, 800m is my pet event and definitely I would have loved to win gold in it. So, in a way I am disappointed but I am happy that two Indians won gold and silver instead of other countries winning them,” Jinson told PTI.

  • The Asian Games were spectacular for both talented sprinters as Johnson went on to win the gold in the 1500 metres race. Manjit settled at the fourth  position with timing of 3:46.57 minutes.

  • This victory not only catapulted his fame, but also made him a potential medalist for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In fact, Manjit recently made a request to the government to be included in the Target Olympics Podium (TOPS) scheme. If inducted, he will get an opportunity to train under the experts and represent India at the most prestigious sporting extravaganza in the world.
  • Being without a job, with a family to support and a dream to chase is not easy. Manjit has proven himself in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. He definitely deserves an opportunity to hone his talent and compete with the very best in the world.

Expected to win a gold. My preparations were good so expected to beat not just Jinson but others too. We are good friends, Jinson is a good athlete. It’s a gift for me and more importantly it’s for my country. I want to win gold in Olympics as well,” Manjit told India Today.

This confidence and positive spirit make Manjit Singh a true champion. He has given his all to sport. His sacrifices and hard work have brought him so much recognition and fame. The same qualities will take him ahead in life. We wish him all the very best for his future endevours.

Achievements

Personal Bests

YearDisciplinePlaceResult
800 MetresJakarta, Indonesia1:46.15
1500 MetresPatiala, India
Long JumpRanchi, India
4×400 Metres RelayNew Delhi, India

 

800 Metres

YearEventPlaceResult
2018Patiala Indian GP11:49.09
2018Patiala Federation Cup21:46.42
2018Guwahati Inter State Championship21:46.24
2018Asian Games11:46.15

 

1500 Metres

YearEventPlaceResult
2018Patiala Federation Cup23:42.24
2018Guwahati Inter State Championship23:46.08
2018Asian Games43:46.57

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A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.

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