Arpinder Singh

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Arpinder Singh poses for a photograph after he struck gold at the men's triple jump event at the Asian Games in Jakarta on August 29.   -  AFP

He may have had a disappointing 2017 – he could not even take a medal at the Asian Championships at home in Bhubaneswar – but triple jumper Arpinder Singh made up for it nicely in 2018.

He won the Asian Games gold in Jakarta, ending a 48-year wait after Mohinder Singh Gill’s triumph in the 1970 Asiad, and upset China’s Asian champion Zhu Yaming while doing so.

A few weeks later, the 26-year-old won the bronze (16.59m) at the IAAF Continental Cup – representing the Asia-Pacific team – becoming the first Indian to do so though it must be said here that the event was conducted in a tricky knockout format that saw only the top athlete from each of the four teams progressing to the ‘semifinal’ after the first phase.

That resulted in Cuban Cristian Napoles, representing the Americas, failing to finish among the medals though he had a better jump (17.07m) than Singh in the first phase.

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