Triple jumper Arpinder Singh sets his eyes on Tokyo Olympics

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Triple jumper Arpinder Singh sets his eyes on Tokyo Olympics

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SportsCafe Desk

09/19/2018

After his recent success at the Asian Games and IAAF Continental Cup, Indian triple jumper Arpinder Singh has stated that his major target now is winning a medal at the 2020 Olympics. The Indian athlete also mentioned that he had no clue about the triple jump before taking up the sport.

Arpinder became the first Indian to win a gold medal in triple jump at the Asian Games and he also created history at the recently-concluded IAAF Continental Cup by becoming the first Indian to bag a medal at the continental event. He recorded 16.77m in Jakarta to clinch gold while at the IAAF event he had to be satisfied with a bronze as he got a distance of 16.59m. After his successful campaigns in the two big events, now he is looking ahead to put up a good show at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

"This year has been very good for me. I'm looking to do well in the Asian Track and Field and World Championships next year. Recently, I became the first Indian to win a medal (bronze) in the IAAF Continental Cup. My main target is to win a medal in the Tokyo Olympics. I'm sure that I can do it if I produce my best jump, which is 17.17m. This year, I achieved a jump of 17.09 in inter-state meet, so my performance has been good," Arpinder told TOI.

The athlete from Punjab had to go through various struggles in his career before getting success at the world stage. He said that his father and family members have been behind him every time he faces any trouble. The athlete also tried his luck in 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump before switching to triple jump professionally.

"When I was around 10 or 12, I started off as a 100m runner, but failed. Then I tried 200m, 400m, and then long jump, but failed in all. My dad was very upset with me. 'What are you doing? Tell me what help you need,' he would tell me. However, till the time you don't find your aim, you can't do anything. Then, DS Bal, who was a SAI coach at Amritsar, told me to try triple jump. I had no clue about it, but learnt it under him in a month. In 2006, I suffered a bad back injury, which forced me to take complete bed rest for three months. A lot of people felt that my career was over that time. However, my father kept boosting my morale in that phase. In 2007, I won my first medal in the school Nationals," the 25-year-old athlete recalled.

Speaking about his busy schedule this year, the athlete said, "I have not been home for the last six months. I have been training in Kerala, so the family also misses me. After coming back to Delhi (from the Asiad), I went for the IAAF Continental Cup (where he won a bronze). I will now go to Trivandrum for the National Open Athletics Championships. I will only be able to go home after the nationals."

The athlete recalled his performance at the Asiad and his coaches' guidance in Jakarta and said, "At that time, I was speaking to my coach, Jai Kumarjee, on a daily basis. He told me to not think too much about it, as it would increase pressure on me. But then, you know, your brain doesn't tend to wander towards something that you're anxious about. My first jump was good, but I fouled. Before the second jump, my coach Sabi told me to go into a 'safe zone,' which was to basically avoid a foul. Therefore, my second jump was from 15cm behind the board. The third jump was ok. The weather wasn't great that day - there was a lot of humidity. Since I was in a competition, I couldn't drink too much water too - it makes you lose speed. Because of the humidity, I had cramps in both my calves by the fourth jump. In the fifth jump, I just went through the motions." 

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