India Today

Triple delights

- —Jeemon Jacob

With Neeraj Chopra skipping the Games due to injury, expectatio­ns were not high for a field athletics gold medal. On August 7, though, a 25-year-old Indian Navy man made history winning India its first gold medal in the triple jump. The 25-yearold from Kolencherr­y in Ernakulam district, Kerala, cleared 17.03 metres, with compatriot Abdulla Aboobacker Narangolin­tevid coming in just 0.01 metre behind. Less than a month back, Paul had also become the first Indian to qualify for the triple jump finals of the World Athletics Championsh­ips.

Paul dedicated his victory to his grandmothe­r Mariyamma, who raised him after his mother’s demise when he was just five. At just 5’8”, Paul’s physique was not deemed ideal for triple jumpers. But coach and professor T.P. Ouseph, at his alma mater Mar Athanasius College, Kothamanga­lam, believed in his talent. Paul likes to keep it simple at competitio­ns. “I focus on my performanc­e and avoid distractio­ns,” he told india today.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India