New Delhi: Long distance runner Sudha Singh's silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase event at the 2013 Pune Asian Athletics Championships is set to be upgraded to gold after Ruth Jebet, who won the race, was declared ineligible to represent Bahrain on nationality grounds by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Kenya-born Jebet transferred her nationality to Bahrain at the age of 16 in 2013 and in that year itself she won a gold in the Pune Asian Championships in meet record time of 9:40.84s. Sudha had finished second with a timing of 9:56.27s.
A document of IAAF General Secretariat regarding Transfer of Allegiance changes since the last IAAF Newsletter shows that Jebet would be eligible to represent Bahrain from May 18, 2014 onwards. So, she would be ineligible to represent Bahrain in any international event prior to this date.
"Her performances from May 19, 2013 to May 18, 2014 will be counted but not as a Bahrain citizen. Since Kenya is not an Asian country her performance in Asian Championships is not valid," a technical official said.
Sudha is also the reigning Asian Games champion as she won gold in the 2010 Guangzhou Games with a timing of 9:55.67s. She is also the current national record holder with a timing of 9:45.60s which she set during the 63rd National Inter-State Athletic Championships in June 2012.
The upgradation to gold will surely give a boost to the confidence of Sudha, who is now training at Ooty under Nikolai Snesarev for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Asian Games in Incheon.
"I am yet to get the news but if I have been upgraded to gold in the Pune Asian Championships, there cannot be better news than this with the CWG just less than two months away," Sudha said over phone from Ooty.