What's the story?
India's star triple jumper Arpinder Singh is confident of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and is keen to put his best efforts to cross the 17.14m qualification mark set for booking a spot in the global event later this year.
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In case you didn't know
World Athletics, formerly known as International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), has modified the qualification system for the athletics events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While in the previous Olympics the qualification was based on the qualification times (for track events) and distances/heights (for field events), the qualification for the current edition is primarily based on the IAAF World rankings.
The IAAF has prescribed qualification standards to include athletes who may not be able to qualify for the Games based on their World Rankings but whose performances are worthy enough for them to be included in the quadrennial event.
For the men's triple jump event, the qualification standard has been set as 17.14 m. Arpinder Singh, who has a personal best jump of 17.17 m way back in 2014, is looking to meet this qualification standard.
Heart of the matter
Arpinder believes that training under Jaikumar, who had guided Arpinder when he had won the Gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, would help him achieve this goal.
Arpinder, who recently won the gold medal at the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) inter-unit athletics tournament, has been training under different foreign coaches for the last couple of years but that has not brought the desired results.
“The last one year [2019-till now] has not been very bad. It’s OK, I’ll say. With the American coach Jeremy Fischer, I was not totally happy with the jump and run-up, though it was good in its own way."
He added that training under Jaikumar Sir would give him the necessary confidence and security that would enable him to perform better.
“And under Antony Yaich (France) at Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijayanagar (Karnataka), he focused more on speed which was in a way good. But I am more content and secure with Jaikumar sir”
Although Arpinder has not breached the 17m mark since 2014, he feels that the guidance he is receiving from Jaikumar Sir would enable him to reach the Olympic qualification standard of 17.14 m.
“I am training well in Thiruvananthapuram where my wide-arm action during run-up is being rectified by Jaikumar sir. I am looking forward to do well in the Federation Cup in Patiala from April 10 to 13 and qualify for Olympics."
He added that qualification for the Games may not be a tough ask considering the number of domestic and international events in which he would be participating. He also expressed that once he qualifies for the Games, he would be targeting a top 6 finish at the event.
“There are lot of other domestic events to qualify and I am also expecting Athletics Federation of India to send me for meets abroad. It is not difficult [to qualify]. Once I make the grade, I will target the top 6"
With approximately 32 athletes likely to make the cut for the men's triple jump event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it would require a herculean effort from Arpinder (currently ranked 68th) to make the grade.
Arpinder would certainly hope that the training under his former mentor Jaikumar will help him regain his old rhythm and enable him to get the Olympic quota.
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