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Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh
  • February 19th, 2007

Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh

Plenty of our local talented athletes succumb to giving up the sports so young due to reason such as national service, studies and supporting the family. Basically it’s not viable in Singapore context being the paper chase society to sacrifice that time and effort. Chamkaur Singh however is a unique success story where he overcame odds and achieved ‘success’ by doing it all on his own. After much preserverance, he finally broke the 1500m men’s record in 2002 and a SEA Games 2003 podium finish.

Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh

During the last 2005 Phillipines SEA Games he unfortunately missed out the event due to a posterior heel injury and recently I contacted Chamkaur for an interview, to update us on his recovery progress and his quest for gold at the upcoming Thailand 2007 SEA Games.

Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh

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

Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh

  1. When we last interviewed you in 2005, you were recovering from posterior heel surgery. Did you manage to get back into normal training patterns previously or was there any complications from the recovery?

    Yes, I have finally got over this injury but it only came good in May-Jun 2006. I think as with any surgery, there will always be some form of complications. After the surgery I was getting a new pain in my Achilles tendon which I didn’t have before the surgery. Personally, I didn’t think the surgery did help in solving the problem. 3-4 months after the surgery, I was getting the exact same pain on my heel and the additional new pain in my Achilles tendon. In fact, what finally solved my problem was a calf strengthening program which I accidentally found in my research of Achilles tendon injury. I religiously followed the program for 3 months and did completely no running at all. So that happened in Dec 2005. Then I started 5mins running in Feb and slowly building that up and it was in May-Jun 2006 that I realized the pain was progressively getting better and I was running about 50 to 60km. So, it is only in Jun 2006 that I started a structured training with my coach. So far so good, I still have other niggles which I am actively managing it.

  2. It’s been 2 years plus since we last heard from you in the media. Can you update us like, where are you now, are you still training, what are you doing and most importantly will you be ‘gunning’ for SEA Games 2007 in Thailand.

    Yes, I am still in Sydney. This year will be my 7th year in Sydney. Wow, how time flies!!! I have been working in the financial industry doing IT stuff. Engineering here isn’t that big hence I had to get into the IT world. Yes yes yes, I am back running again. Thank god for allowing me to get back into running again after this long battle with my heel injury. I started running in Jun 2006 but training hasn’t been consistent as I had to take necessary breaks occasionally from running whenever the heel is complaining. I am back running 5 days 6 sessions a week with about 80km mileage and hoping to ramp it up to the usual zone of 120km to 140km, 7 days 10 sessions a week. SEA Games 2007, deep down in my heart, I would like to run it but with only 7 months training so far, I am a bit skeptical. But I am not counting it out at the moment as you would never when your fitness would kick in.

  3. You were a late bloomer in track. Only at the age of 26 years old, did you decided to train full-time. What advise can you give to athletes who wishes to take up athletics again at a mature age after being inactive from it

    Hmmm, this is tough one. But before I comment on this, let me make it clear that I did not train full-time. The only time that I was training full-time was in 2001 for 4 months where I took a break from my university studies to focus on the SEA Games. I have always been either a full-time student in university or working full-time during my semester breaks since I left Singapore to train. The reason I point this out is to demonstrate that you don’t have really train full-time to achieve your goal. My only advise I can give is “give it a go and do not regret in your old age for not trying”. There is going to be a hell of a lot of obstacles for the matured person (more than the younger athletic) but the only thing that can carry you, motivate or inspire you to keep going is PASSION. If you don’t have that, then you will very quickly give up.

  4. Do you think it’s wise for an athlete development to start young? In your opinion how young should only the junior athlete specialize in a certain event? I’ve seen plenty of young athletes being trained so intense by irresponsible coaches at a young age, only for them to give it up and hate the sport due to ‘burn-out’

    Yes, only if the development for young athletes is well rounded, focusing not only of sports but also on all aspects of life. It depends on your definition of ‘young’. Of course if the athlete is too young, then it is probably not a good idea to specialize in one sport. Personally, I think a junior athlete should get involved in various sports until 17. By then, it should be quite clear which sport the athlete is naturally inclined to. Yes, we see cases of athletes come and go due to various reasons. And that’s where you need to identify good coaches who can be patient with results and are genuine in helping the athlete reach its full potential.

  5. Have you run any recent races recently. How was your performance?

    It has been exactly 3 years since I ran a race on track. I believe my last race was the 1st Asian Indoors Championships in Feb 2004. I had my first so called ‘race’ last week. I won’t really consider this as a race but more of a training session incorporated into a race. It’s to get the feet wet, so to speak, test the waters kind of thing. I attempted two races on the weekend, the 800m and followed by a 3000m about 1/2hr later. Performance wise, I was hoping to go under 9.05mins for the 3k (my best is 8.31mins) and maybe just dipping under 2mins for the 800m (PB is 1.54) but ended up with a 2.01.33mins for the 800m and 9.09.37mins for the 3000m. So it’s still a long way to go.

  6. What are your future plans? Track and life …

    Well, I still have a couple of goals to achieve before I call it quits in running. I hope to break the 5000m record which I came really close to breaking it in 2003 and to go under the 3.50min mark for the 1500m. Currently, I think I am having quite a balanced lifestyle, balancing both work and running and a little bit of socializing. So I hope to keep up with this lifestyle and I am have been lucky that the environment, the people and work is allowing me to maintain such a lifestyle.

  7. Are you still being coached by Mr. Peter Good? How has your training changed over the years, do you observe that you’re now more mentally tougher or perhaps your finesse has improved or … ?

    Yes, I am still being coached by Mr. Peter Good. He has about 30 years of coaching experience, he understands how my body responds to the training load and he simply knows what he is talking about. The training method in general has not changed but obviously, my current training intensity is being adjusted to suit my comeback. Yep, definitely over the years, I am a much matured runner when it comes to training, I understand & can ‘feel’ my body much better. I am probably a little more sensible now in terms of respecting my body. What I mean by this is that if I am not feeling that great then I wont be hammering my body. I still get nervous before sessions, still dread that occasional long runs

  8. What kind of supplements do you use? Any recommendations

    Quite frankly, I don’t really use any supplements. I do have the occasional vitamins when I am training well (or when doing lots of miles) and feel that it might give me an edge or recover well. But quite seriously, I think the food that I consume should have the necessary stuff required. But I do take the following stuff, powerade after my run and Sustagen sports (its basically like a meal replacement drink that has a bit of proteins in there) that I take before my run especially in the mornings or whenever I am feeling hungry before a run. And I also have a banana after my runs too.

  9. Aside from knowing you as Chamkaur athlete that you are, we want to know more of you personally. Fav movie, fav food, dislikes, your interest, hobbies, introvert, extrovert, etc.

    I admire people with a passion. People who think about issues seriously before opening their mouth. These are the people that I would like to constantly meet and inspire me. I definitely dislike people who like to boast and who thinks that they know a lot. I liking watching action movies but more importantly, I like watching movies with my favourite characters in it. For example, Densel Washington, Kiefer Sutherland, Eddie Murphie etc. I am probably considered as a quiet person but I will open up once I feel comfortable with the person.

  10. Any plans or goals to break any records this year? A sub 4min mile perhaps or shattering the 1500m record again? Other event perhaps

    As mentioned previously, my immediate goals to get back to where I left off and to focus on my two unfinished business of breaking the 1500m and 5000m record. The 4min mile, to be really realistic, will have to be on the back burner for now.

Chamkaur Dhaliwal Singh

Thank you Chamkaur. You’re an inspiration to us all. Photo courtesy of Chamkaur Singh

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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