Bhubaneswar: Hogging the headlines world over for his extraordinary feat of covering a distance of more than 60 km in almost seven hours at the tender age of six, the marathon kid of Odisha, Budhia Singh has a glimmer of hope to realise his long-cherished dream.
Taking note of the unique feat, famous international coach of Kenya, Patrick Sang, expressed his willingness to help the teenager. He is now a 16-year-old boy.
Talking to a foreign media about the achievement of Budhia, who had run the marathon more than 25 times in his childhood, he said running at that tender age is definitely a sign of potential.
However, Sang suggested that Budhia should undergo a thorough physiological and psychological test by the medical experts. “If he is found clinically and mentally fit, his potential would be put to test to assess his capability,” he pointed out.
He further said if Budhia proves his capability, people should come forward and help him to pursue his goal.
“I’m willing to find a sponsor and train him in Kenya,” said Sang, who had won a silver medal in the 3,000-metre steeplechase at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
The 54-year-old coach also observed that the potential of Budhia could even be converted to shorter distances on the track before tackling professional marathons.
After the medical examination, Budhia’s potential can be tested by making him run 5,000m and 10,000m and see how he performs, he pointed out.
Asked whether Budhia could be trained for the marathon, Sang said, “We cannot talk of marathon running for him until he is over 20 years. This is the strategy which has helped the Kenyan runners to perform well over the years.”
After turning 20, Budhia will have six years’ time to participate in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, said Sang, who was in Bengaluru for the recent TCS World 10K event.