Triple jumper Arpinder Singh struggles in French meet, coach shocked with poor run

Asian Games gold medallist Arpinder Singh finished a lowly eighth with a best of 15.78m in the Classic Permit Meeting de Montreuil, a stark dip from his personal best of 17.17m.

Arpinder Singh failed to qualify for the recent Asian championships in Doha after finishing fourth in the Federation Cup in March with 16.34m. It puts him in a spot of bother because the qualification standard for this September’s World championships is 16.9m.   -  AFP

He clinched the gold medal at the Asian Games last year and went on to become the first Indian to win a medal at the IAAF Continental Cup. But after a bit of a high last season, this year is turning out to be a very disappointing one for triple jumper Arpinder Singh.

The 26-year-old from Punjab, who has a personal best of 17.17m, finished a lowly eighth with a best of 15.78m in the Classic Permit Meeting de Montreuil, near Paris, on Tuesday. American Christian Taylor, the Olympic and World champion, won the event with 17.41m.

Earlier this month, Arpinder had won gold in another meet in France, at Pezenas, with a mediocre 15.85m.

“I’m shocked with Arpinder’s performance. For somebody who has jumped above 17m, he should be doing something like 16.70m,” Romanian Bedros Bedrosian, the national coach for jumps, told Sportstar from Bucharest on Wednesday evening. 

“I don’t think he is aggressive enough during the jumps, he is probably not attacking enough. The last time I saw him, at the Asian Games in Jakarta (in September 2018), his technique appeared to be going down,” he added.

Arpinder failed to qualify for the recent Asian championships in Doha after finishing fourth in the Federation Cup in March with 16.34m, and with the qualification standard for this September’s World championships being 16.9m, he has a lot of work to do.

“I don’t think he can qualify for the Worlds with such performances, but Arpinder is a fighter,” said Bedros, who plans to return to India later this month after taking a long break.

Also intriguing is the young Praveen Chithravel’s form this season. The 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu, who won the Federation Cup in Patiala in March with a personal best 16.51m, could only manage 15.05m in the Pezenas meet in France earlier this month and did not figure in the Montreuil event.  

“May be he is injured, he had an ankle problem last year,” said Bedros.