• singapore athletics
singapore athletics
Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh
  • October 1st, 2005

Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh

Chamkaur Singh’s bronze is the second of a nine medal haul that came from Track event at SEA Games 2004, Vietnam. The other event was Silver medal for Men’s 4x100m and the rest of the medals was from Field events. Chamkaur won bronze in a time of 3:59.34 then.

This interview will entail the story of an athlete who is determined to achieve his dreams who seems lofty to most by uprooting his stable job in Singapore and packed his bags to study and train in Australia. It prove to be a wise decision as his quest for glory, was achieved in 2002 when he broke the 23 years old record in the 1500m with a new national record time of 3:51.59

Height: 1.76m

Weight: 62kg

Date of Birth: 11 June 1973

Coach: Mr Peter Good

Personal Best
800m – 1.55.18mins
1500m – 3.51.59 mins
3000m – 8.31.84 mins
5000m – 15.03.74 mins
10000m – 32.03.56 mins

  1. Readers in Singapore and the world, would like to know more of you. Maybe a short summary of who you are, your background and what are you currently doing now

    Basically, I came from a family of 5 and eldest among my siblings. I have always been active in sports especially soccer and field hockey during my secondary school days. My favorite sports is hockey but I decided not to pursue it as I find most of the players were not really dedicated to the sport and its hard to go far. When I was 26, I decided to focus my energy to athletics and my first of many goals then was to be the fastest middle distance runner in Singapore. I am still currently at athletics but I am rehabilitating from a posterior heel surgery which is taking longer than expected to get back into intense training.

  2. I read an interview done on you at Singapore Mile. It was a good interview as it really inspired many of us who’s still waiting and training for our breakthrough. What advise can you give to junior athletes who are still progressing through the ranks and the senior athletes, who has to juggle work, studies and other activities

    I don’t think we should use the word ‘breakthrough’ as such. I believe if the training program is catered right for the athlete, then we should see results on a yearly basis and do racing with consistent times. I realized this after coming to Australia where the same program is repeated for every season except that for each season, our training intensity progressively increases over the years as we naturally get fitter with consistent training. My main advise is to train consistently and don’t let training become a chore. With regards to juggling work, studies and ECAs, I believe once we start feeling that “I have to juggle my studies and sports” then I don’t think we can’t go far. It’s has to be part of a lifestyle. My analogy to training is with food. We don’t think about eating do we? When I was in university, I still train during exam days but of course I don’t train at a intense level. I made sure my assignments were always up to date (well I try my best!), as such I don’t require to take time off from training.

  3. You’re a SEA Games medalist and our very own 1500m national record holder and ‘sweetly’ you did it ALL on your own. So what are you looking forward to next? Can we expect any more records and medals from you. Do share with us your long term goal?

    I am looking forward to getting back into training and recovering from my heel operation. Once that’s in place, then my main goal would be breaking the 5000m national record ( I came so close to breaking it in 2003, my 3k split was 8.53mins but made a mistake by going hard in the 4th kilometer, I ended up with a 15.03mins). I still want to improve my 1500m record and to hopefully go under 3.50mins. Medals will come once I achieve these two goals, I guess!

  4. In SEA Games 2003, can you recall your 1500m finals. Did you follow your race plan or did you have to make changes to it. Tell us of that race back then

    Hmmm, it’s been a while now but I will try my best to recall that moment. I was actually feeling really confident about getting a medal despite only training 3 to 4 times week during the months leading to the games due my niggling heel injury. I arrive in Vietnam 2 days before my race and usually my training regime is to do something really short and fast, say 5 to 6, 200m (or even 150m) at about 26-27s and if this is achieved relatively easy then I know my legs are ready for action.

    Ok, race day, I was actually running late in my warm up routine. I had to rush thru my strides but I didn’t let that affect me. I remember the stadium was packed with spectators and that really got me pumped up to have a really good race. I looked at my competitors and knew only one runner had a better PB than me but I was confident of taking him on. The plan was to sit and kick, and hope the race would at least be run at a reasonable time but it didn’t. The first lap was run in 67s and I said “Damm, this is 3k pace”. I don’t really like slow races as it usually suits an 800m runner. So, I thought to myself “Should I take the lead and rev up the pace?”

    But I decided against that as I didn’t want to do all the work and to only to get beaten (as I have experienced a few times before). Usually if I was going to take the lead, I would take the lead from the start so I can ‘sting’ the other 800m runners. So, I still stayed with the pack and was hoping for someone would pick up the pace but at 800m, the time was 2.12mins. At this stage here, I was really getting worried as everyone was still in the pack. I need to string them out so I went beside the leader to pressure him to pick the pace and that worked. So, right now it was 600m to go and I was contemplating of going at the last 500m. That didn’t happen, instead I took the lead just before the bell and started picking up the pace to string the other runners. I was really nervous of hitting the wall and I was saying to myself “I hope I haven’t done anything stupid by going at the bell”. 250m to go, I was getting really edgy at this point.

    Then I noticed this Vietnamese runner steaming past me and he nearly clipped me. That made me lose my rhythm which was a shame as I should have been aware of such a situation. Anyway, the winner was pulling away at about 180m and I started panicking. 100m to go, I realized, I had nothing left in my legs, it was probably more in my mind that I felt as such. The race was slow and I should have able to pull away but it didn’t happen. That is such of racing, some days you have it and some days you don’t. So, the last 100m, I basically tried to maintain my position by keeping short and fast strides. I was quite disappointed with my time but the medal kind of made up for it. I would normally run 1500m in time-trial on my own with my third place timing that I did in the SEA Games.

  5. I’m sure you know, the distance event doesn’t get the much deserved exposure as with the sprints events. What do you think is lacking that needs attention, to many peeple Track & Field is just solely the 100m and sprints

    That’s the sad thing which nothing can be done about it unless someone breaks the 4min mile. I guess we would need the help of the media to promote any athlete who’s currently doing well and showing some promise. And not forgetting website like yours which is really excellent. I really like your ranking column in your website. I am hoping to run a few races back home to get myself in your ranking column J

  6. Your pet event is the 1500m. 3 and 3/4 rounds of intense running. How do you run your race from start to finish. Do you reserve for the last lap and go for it,do you evenly distribute your running energy over distance, or … do tell us. Hows your progress so far this year leading to SEA Games

    I am considered as a consistent pace runner meaning that I prefer running a fast race. Depending on the race and the objective of the race, the energy conservation will vary accordingly. For example in a championship race like the SEA Games where the objective is getting a medal, then the idea here is running relatively easy for the first 800m and progressively winding up the pace. But then again, it also depends who is in the race. If you have got someone who has a better kick than you then you might want to run the race evenly. This year I haven’t been racing at all, I am at the 9 months post surgery and my heel is taking longer than expected to regain its strength. I am not thinking of any races at the moment, my focus is to get back from my injury so I can come back stronger.

  7. Describe the greatest moment of your athletic career. Was it winning a medal at SEA Games? Do share with us

    Unfortunately, winning the medal wasn’t the greatest moment. The greatest moment would definitely be breaking the 23year old long standing record. It was this main reason that I decided to move to Australia to train. This has been on my mind for 2 years and it happened on 9th Feb 2001.

  8. What’s your training usually consist of let’s say in a week .. tell us an insight of your normal daily routine. Do you believe training in ‘quantity’ or ‘quality’

    Depending on which phase of my training is, quality usually fits in the pre-competition phase and quantity is during the winter period. I normally run a weekly mileage of between 90 to 120km a week, 10 sessions a week which comprise of 2 weight sessions, 1 to 2 x track session, 1 x hill session (300m to 1km long), 1 x effort run (15min to 20min solid pace), 1 x 30min recovery grass running, 1 x long run (15km to 23km), 2 x medium runs (10 to 15km). A typically example is as follows taken from my diary (pre-competition):

    Mon (am) 12km steady run in 48.44mins

    Tue (pm) track (3 x 800m,400m,200m) with 1min recovery between reps and 5mins between sets. [2.04,62.4,29.4],[2.04,63.3,29.8],[2.04,62.1,30.5]

    Wed (pm) 1 hr steady run about 14.4 km

    Thur(am) 30 min easy running in 7.3km

    Thur(pm) track (12 x 200m) with jog across recovery in about 29s

    Fri (pm) “ recovery run, easy 30min in 7.3km

    Sat(am) 30 min rythmic run in 7.5km

    Sat(pm) 1500m race in 3.55mins, rest 90mins then 5000m race in 15.50mins

    Sun(am) long run about 20.3km in 1hr 22mins

    Total milieage for the week : 109.1 km

    If you noticed there is no weight here as this is pre-competition phase. This week of training is considered as medium-hard.

  9. Tell us about some of your experiences and role models along the way

    My role model has been Coach Patrick Zehnder. He is always committed to the training he provides me. He usually there at the training ground before me and I realized that if a coach can be there before the athlete then I have to be there even earlier to be ready for training. He has taught me about consistent training and hard work and believing in anything can be achieved if you put your heard and mind to it.

  10. How’s your SEA Games preparation coming along. Any update on your status or nomination? Are you going to Manila? If so, what are you expectation there?

    I don’t think I will be participating in this years SEA Games as I am not able to train at the intense level that I would love to. So, no updates on that. I am currently focusing on strengthening my calves and Achilles tendon. I went a major surgery where the Achilles tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone was detached. The heel bone was then shaven a bit to remove the spur and the tendon reattached with a screw. As such, I don’t want to force my training just to compete in the sea games especially when I have personally spent a lot of money and time to get myself treated. I am still training between 8 to 10 sessions a week but the bulk of the training is weights (3 times a week), pool running sessions (5 sessions a week) and 2 to 3 running sessions a week that is only 20 to 30mins running. My fitness is still there as my runs are still reasonably fast but I don’t have the specifics of racing on the track. I think it will take me probably about 3 months to get back to real fitness once my heel is feeling good.

  11. How do you stay motivated training ‘alone’ in a foreign country, especially when dealing with an association like SAAA. When do youforesee yourself or know when it’s time to hang up your spikes

    Passion for the sports. Personal goals are the main motivation for me and seeing other runners achieve incredible times. I want to be remembered as a runner and to be able to achieve that, I believe I need to break more records and improve the country’s standard of middle distance running. At this point of time, I think I will stop once I have achieved my two remaining goals that I have set for. But then again, I might change my mind when those goals have been achieved. I believe health (injuries woes) would be the only factor that would make me hang up my spikes.

  12. What changes do you wish to be made in the local Singapore track scene. Maybe more help from the association perhaps? Or … well?

    I think we need more people in the country that sincerely wants to improve the standard of running in the country. No personal agenda, I guess! If you want to go far, I say forget about help from anyone or association. Reach deep within oneself to achieve your goals. Of course with the help of a coach who can get you on track. My achievement is purely derived from my personal ambition, my coach’s help namely Mr. Peter Good which I cant thank enough, Mr. Patrick Zehnder and Mr. Pandian. Of course, my family who have always supported me. These are the people who have been constructive to my achievements, who really want to me achieve my goals. And stay away from those who only want to be with you when you are doing well.

Thank you Chamkaur for participating


Posted by Uncle Sha.
singapore athletics

Mailing List

  • Email:


    Subscribe Unsubscribe

Singapore Sports

  • About
Singapore Athletics is the oldest Singapore sports portal. We are established on 25th February 1999 and are run by volunteers. Get all your latest local sporting news, results, downloads and videos and photos at this blog ... more »

Help keep this site alive. Blog + file hosting can be expensive for me. Any amount is appreciated.
singapore athletics
Got an ad? Contact me for advertising rates »
singapore athletics
singapore athletics
  • Latest
singapore athletics

Interviews: Singapore | World »        
singapore athletics

singapore athletics
Top of Page