I am focussing on increasing my stamina and breaking my own National Records: Sandeep


Sandeep Kumar is an Indian racewalker. He represented India in the 50 kilometres walk event at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China. Adding on, he participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics where he finished at 35th in the 50 kilometres race walk with a time of 4:07:55. In the prestigious 2020 Tokyo Olympics he finished 23rd in the 20 kilometres race walk. With his charismatic stamina and his dream to make India proud, he in the 2022 Birmingham CWG won a bronze in men’s 10,000m racewalk event. Currently, he holds the national records for both 50km and 20km race walking.
We spoke to Sandeep Kumar, below are the excerpts.
Q. What possibilities do you see in upcoming Asian Games and Paris Olympics in 2024 regarding your performance?
A. Yes of course, I am all heads and toes for the upcoming competitions. Just like CWG 2022, I will make sure that I make India proud and my head will be held high with the National Anthem playing loud in the background (Smiles). All the sports personas have pulled up their socks and preparing well for the Asian Games and Olympics. I am taking more sessions and putting more time and efforts into the practices. Regardless of the timing whether its day or night, I am focussing on increasing my stamina and breaking my own National Records.
Q. Researchers have observed a drastic hike in the fan following of the sports stars rather than the Bollywood stars. What do you think, is this a good sign for the future of India?
A. I totally agree to this fact that tables have turned as of now. No second thought to it that Indians especially the youth is more attracted towards sports now, as you said that they picking right Hero and Heroines, which can be made ideals for all good reasons, who they were, how did they persevere to become what they are now. Mostly sports persons belong to poor family or less privileged ones. So, they are fighters and real heroes who can inspire youth of the nation.
I give credit to the present government and federations who keep on organising sports events regularly, they are running many target olympics podium schemes, SAI (Sports Authority of India) is working outstandingly well in the best interest of the sports persons, also the leaders keep motivating players, the ministries have been very helping in taking sports to every nook and corner of India be it any state, city, district, village etc. So, people are more aware about sports now. Also, the sports persons are groomed now, they get makeovers, they wear designer clothes, look more presentable to add a pinch of glamour and events like these add limelight, so no less than a starry life!
Most importantly parents have become more adaptive to sports, they are not pushing their kids to study only, if the kid wants to pursue his or her career in sports, he/she getting that liberty from the guardians. This seems good for the future of Indian sports. In coming times you will see a boom in sports for sure starting from Paris Olympics and even in 2028 olympics.
Q. A total of 43 athletes from Haryana competed in the CWG and Para Commonwealth Games in Birmingham out of 61 medals over all, 20 medals solemnly belonged to Haryana’s athletes, your reaction?
A. See, it has to be, first of all the mindset of the people there, they are sports loving in nature and most importantly Haryana has an exclusive state policy for sports. Needless to say that every state in India, have good players, they have talent, calibre. But at the same time, perks, recognition and appreciation matters. For instance, a gold medalist form XYZ state gets a lesser prize money than compared to the gold medalist of Haryana state. And not only prize money, the job assurance and other amenities too. So, I feel that other states also should follow Haryana’s sports policy to achieve lucrative results. I am sure it will help increasing the number of medals too for India.