Federation Cup: Toor, Aldrin fail to hit Paris mark

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Federation Cup: Toor, Aldrin fail to hit Paris mark

On Tuesday, during an otherwise disappointing day for Indian athletes competing in the ongoing Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar, long jumper Jeswin Aldrin and shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor failed to reach the Paris Olympics qualifying standard.

After breaking the national mark (8.42m) at the Indian Open Jumps Competition in March of last year, Aldrin has been quiet for more than a year. To win, he recorded the best effort of 7.99m. He fell 28 centimeters short of the 8.27 meter Olympic entry criteria, though.

Only Murali Sreeshankar, a male long jumper, has jumped further than the Paris record (8.37 meters) but Aldrin is still in the running for Paris based on standings. The 22-year-old Tamil Nadu native is now ranked 26th in the Road to Paris standings; to secure a spot in the top-32 by June 30th, he must remain in that order. Sreeshankar will not be competing in the Olympics because of a left knee injury that required surgery.

Aldrin jumped 7.93 meters, then 7.85 and 7.87 meters before missing his next two attempts. He finished with 7.99m, taking first place. S Arya of Karnataka came in second with a 7.83-meter leap, while Muhammad Anees Yahiya of Kerala came in third with a 7.81-meter leap. Aldrin, who made his debut at the same competition a few years ago with a wind-assisted 8.37-meter leap, has only twice cleared the 8-meter mark during the Paris qualifying round, which started on July 1 of last year. He didn't touch eight meters the last time he was in the August World Championship qualifying round.

Shot putter Toor, the Asian record holder, cantered to a predicted gold, but his set of scores of 20.14, x, 20.38, x, x, and x meant the 29-year-old finished well short of the 21.50m automatic qualifying threshold for the Paris Games. In June of last year, Toor achieved his personal best of 21.77 meters at the same location—beyond the qualifying timeframe.

In March, Toor began up his outdoor season at his training camp in Patiala, where he won the Indian Open Throws Competition with a throw of 19.82 meters. Toor will need to take advantage of the many domestic competitions that are scheduled, including Indian GP 2 in Chennai on May 30, Indian GP 3 in Bengaluru on June 12, and the National Inter State Championships in Panchkula (June 27–30). The deadline for direct participation is June 30.

With a timing of 8:39.67 meters, Madhya Pradesh's Sumit Kumar won the men's 3000m steeplechase. Dhuladev Ghagar of Maharashtra came next with an 8:46.65m time, while Ankit Rajesh of Haryana came next with an 8:46.97m time. The only male Indian steeplechaser to book a ticket to Paris by meeting the entry requirement of 8:15.00 is reigning Asian Games champion Avinash Sable. Sable finished the Silesia Diamond League in July of last year with a time of 8:11.63 meters. The 29-year-old soldier hasn't started the season in his preferred sport yet. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, he is presently undergoing training.

In addition to Chopra, Kishore Jena, the silver medallist from the Asian Games who qualified for Paris, will compete in his own state. Silver medallist at the Asian Championships, DP Manu, will try to secure a direct flight to Paris, while Chopra and Jena will prepare for the Games. Manu, who won Indian GP 1 (81.91m) last month, will need to surpass his personal best (84.35m) in order to reach the qualifying standard, which is set at 85.50m.