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Triple jumper Eldhose Paul makes giant leap: College rejection to first Indian finalist at World Athletics


Triple Jumper Eldhose Paul made a giant leap with a historic final appearance at the World Athletics Championships on Friday. It has been a long journey of struggle and perseverance for the Indian triple jumper.

India’s rising hero triple jumper Eldhose Paul: Making of a champion (World Athletics Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Eldhose Paul became first Indian triple jumper to reach World Athletics Championships final
  • Seven years ago, Eldhose was rejected for a sports scholarship in Kerala
  • Eldhose finished sixth in the Group A qualification round and 12th overall to make the cut for final

Triple jumper Eldhose Paul has fought adversity and rejection, gaining different motivations that helped him become the first Indian to qualify for the triple jump final at the World Athletics Championships with an effort of 16.68m on Tuesday.

Seven years ago, Eldhose was rejected for a sports scholarship in Kerala as the authorities believed the state had better athletes than the Indian triple jumper. Just four days before the World Athletics Championships in the USA, Eldhose was still running around in New Delhi to complete his visa formalities.

Eldhose started participating in athletic meets when he was at MA College in Kothamangalam, which is considered a nursery for emerging athletes. After being trained by veteran coach TP Ouseph, the youngster has not looked back.

Eldhose finished sixth in the Group A qualification round and 12th overall to make the cut for Sunday’s final (6:50 am IST). Paul, who reached just a few days ago due to visa issues, has a season’s and personal best of 16.99m which he had recorded while winning gold in the Federation Cup in April.

Eldhose has already met the qualification standards for the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. His exploits in the World Championships will help him a great deal at the CWG 2022.

The two other Indians, Praveen Chithravel and Abdulla Aboobacker, failed to make it to the finals after best jumps of 16.49m and 16.45m respectively. Chitravel finished eighth in Group A and 17th overall, while Aboobacker ended in 10th in Group B and 19th overall. Those who cleared 17.05m or the 12 best performers across two qualification round groups qualify for the finals.

Having also tried out disciplines like pole vault and cross country running, he began to focus on the triple jump, and with a historic final waiting on Sunday, Eldhose is fully dedicated to trying and crossing the 17m mark.

— ENDS —





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