While training grounds and equipment is off-limits for athletes amidst the lockdown, inspiration is not. And Indian golfer Shiv Kapur has found it in Vijay Singh.
Nicknamed ‘The Big Fijian’, Vijay Singh held the number one position in the Official World Golf Ranking for 32 weeks in 2004-2005 by dislodging Tiger Woods and won 34 events on the PGA Tour.
However, it’s his humble beginnings that have moved Shiv Kapur, who is confined in his Delhi residence during the lockdown.
“We sportsmen are never short of inspiration, and for me, Vijay Singh is an idol,” Shiv Kapur wrote in his Hindustan Times column.
“When he grew up in Fiji, Vijay did not have access to fancy facilities. He went to the beach with his golf clubs and smacked the ball around.
“From such a beginning, ‘The Big Fijian’ dislodged Tiger Woods as world no. 1 for a while in 2004, won 34 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006,” he wrote.
Shiv Kapur was looking forward to competing at the Indian Open, scheduled from March 19 to 22, but it got cancelled owing to travel restrictions imposed on affected countries by the Indian government.
With numerous events on the Asian Tour also postponed Shiv Kapur turned to domestic events in Ahmedabad and Pune, but they were called off as well.
Staying home during the national lockdown now, Shiv Kapur is following a schedule set by his trainer in Dubai which involves home workouts and maintaining a diet.
“With gyms shut, not all of it is possible, but I have been able to accomplish most of what has been prescribed. Eating right is also vital in these times,” Shiv Kapur elaborated in his column.
What practice can achieve
The Tokyo Olympics postponement makes things trickier for Shiv Kapur. With his qualification window already slim, he must now stay sharp for any opportunity that comes his way.
And the 2002 Asiad gold medallist finds inspiration in another golfer, Martin Kaymer while striving towards it.
“I want to be ready whenever the tour resumes and Martin Kaymer exemplifies what practice can achieve.
“After a go-karting accident in 2009, the German was out for six months and was allowed only to putt by doctors.
“He made the most of the time away and soon after his return became the world no, 1,” Shiv Kapur pointed out.