By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Asian Games triple jump champion Arpinder Singh’s dream of competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games is all but over as he says is not fit to achieve the qualification mark.
Top Indian athletes, aspiring to achieve qualification marks in their events before the June 29 deadline, will compete in the Indian Grand Prix IV on June 21 and the National Inter-State Championships starting on June 25 in Patiala. But Singh will be a spectator.
“Since April, I couldn’t train properly due to frequent lockdowns. So, I’m not fit enough to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard of 17.14m,” the 28-year-old jumper told IANS.
The Punjab athlete said had he managed to stay in good form the qualification mark of would have been within his reach.
“Since I was out of the national camp and training with my personal coach Jai Kumar in Thiruvananthapuram, frequent lockdowns upset my training. I’ve a personal best of 17.17m, achieved in 2014, and 17.04m in 2018. But missing good training sessions in the last three months upset my plans,” Singh said.
After becoming 2018 Jakarta Asian Games champion, Singh had chalked out plans to give a good account of himself at the rescheduled Olympic Games, but it never went on the expected lines.
“After the Asian Games I won a bronze medal at the Continental Cup in Ostrava. That was another high point of the 2018 season, but 2019 was average for me while in 2020 I couldn’t get into a good training rhythm due to the pandemic. I started well in 2021 but couldn’t continue good training due to Covid-19 crises in India,” he added.