A dehydrated Arpinder Singh has finally ended India's 48-year long wait for a gold in the triple jump at the Asian Games with an effort of 16.77m even as he had aimed at shattering the national record here. India's last Asian Games gold medal in men's triple jump had come in 1970 from Mohinder Singh Gill.
Arpinder, who has been without a medal in multi-sporting events since winning a bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, produced his best jump of 16.77m in his third attempt.
The 25-year old said that his performance dipped because of a training in the UK, where he could not adjust to new training methods. Arpinder said he had come into the Asian Games looking to break the national record which is in the name of Renjith Maheshwary (17.30m).
"It's gold, so it's okay but I wanted to go better than the national record. I was dehydrated after three jumps, that's why there were fouls after that. The performance was going up and down. My calves were hurting,"
Arpinder said he was initiated to athletics by his father.
"My dad was a kabaddi player in the army. He wanted me to continue playing sports. He kept pushing me to become sportsman. I started with 100 metres but I failed, I tried 200m and 400m but I could not do much there also. Then I took long jump and I failed there again.
"But my father remained persistent. SAI coach D S Bahl then asked me to take up triple jump in 2005-06. To be honest, I was not interested as I did not know anything about triple jump. But then I won a medal at the 2007 School Nationals in Kolkata," he said explaining how it all started.
Arpinder will next compete in the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic, representing Asia-Pacific team.
news source: pti