Triple Jumper Arpinder Singh Questions Sports Ministry After Olympic Scheme Snub

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Asian Games gold-winning triple jumper Arpinder Singh on Monday questioned sports ministry’s decision to drop him from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme on the basis of a performance review when no competition was once conducted all over the year because of COVID-19 pandemic. The 27-year-old Arpinder, who won a gold in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, was once dropped from the TOPS core group while the likes of Neeraj Chopra, Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and Hima Das were retained after a “performance review”.

“I used to be surprised because how a performance review could have been done all over this pandemic. There was once no competition the whole year. Did they call for a trial to realize that my performance has gone down? I do not know the basis of this,” Arpinder told PTI from Amritsar.

“I train alone at the present time in Jalandhar. I have taken a short break and I’m going back to Jalandhar in a day or two. So far as I realize I am jumping the same distance as earlier all over training. I am maintaining myself.”

He said the ministry’s decision “borders to harassment” and has “demoralised” him.

“I have been in the TOPS for just about two years and suddenly I am being dropped for no fault of mine,” he said.

“I used to be not expecting this. I have not done anything fallacious.”

Arpinder has a personal best of 17.17m though he won the gold in Jakarta with a hop of 16.77m. In 2019, he had a best of 16.83m all over the National Inter-State Championships in Lucknow.

In January this year, he managed a distance of 15.97m in a competition in South Africa, before the pandemic wiped out the national athletics calendar.

He said he was once earlier at NIS Patiala for a couple of months when the pandemic began but left the national camp in May.

Asked whether he was once informed in advance approximately his exclusion from the TOPS, Arpinder said, “One official from the TOPS called me up a couple of days ago and said they had done a performance review and I can be dropped. I asked that time also how a performance review can also be done.”

“Around May-June, I remembered somebody from the ministry told me that I will go to USA for training but I refused because what is the point of going there as nobody was once training,” said Arpinder who had a stint in america before the Asian Games.

Arpinder, on the other hand, said he’s going to not plead for his re-inclusion in the TOPS. Instead, he said he’s going to show his performance when the next season begins in March.

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“I can not approach neither the sports ministry nor the AFI (for my re-inclusion). It’s all correct. I do not want any confrontation. My performance will speak for myself.”

“I can show it with my performance next season. With a bit of luck, it is going to start in three months.”

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