Kolkata: Mumbai youngster Siddhanth Thingalaya may have narrowly missed the Olympic qualification B standard in the 110m hurdles today, but the national record holder continued to surprise with his stupendous performances.
For somebody who was an avid footballer about seven years ago, the 6 feet 3 inches tall Thingalaya had never thought about hitting the track one day.
But now he has emerged as one of the probables to secure a place in next year`s Olympics.
Impressed with his speed and agility, his one-time football coach had suggested him to take up athletics, something Thingalaya does not regret.
After turning to hurdles, Thingalaya has not looked back and 2010 has been particularly eventful for the 20-year-old.
He became the Asian Junior champion in Hanoi (Vietnam) with a timing of 13.96, finished a creditable fourth in the World Junior in Moncton (Canada), clocking 14.09.
Thingalaya also became the junior national champion before securing his name in the national record holder`s list when he recorded 13.81 in the Inter-State in Patiala, a record he rewrote today with a timing of 13.77.
With the Olympic B qualification norm being 13.6, it was a case of very near yet so far, but Thingalaya, who now trains under Aussie coach Sharon Hannon in Brisbane, was satisfied.
"I came very close today. But I`m confident of securing an Olympic place," Thingalaya, who has now taken a break from his final year B Com for training in Brisbane, said.
"My preparation is going on the right track. It really feels nice to better my own mark. But I had expected this record to come along the way," said the 20-year-old, who flew from Brisbane to compete in the 51st National Open Athletics Championships that concluded on Tuesday.
He also hopes to compete in the 100m dash event.
"I`ve been clocking quite good during my training. Hopefully, next year I will compete in the 100m event as well," the sprinter said.