‘Feel lucky to have made it back home’

Top athletes talk to HT about their experience of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. This is Arpinder Singh, the triple jumper from Amritsar who won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games to add to his 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze.
File image of Arpinder Singh.(File)
File image of Arpinder Singh.(File)
Updated on Apr 30, 2020 08:56 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Amritsar | ByArpinder Singh

This is truly a new experience for me. I am not used to being at home for such long duration—I have spent a lot of time away from home for the last 10-12 years. It is good in a way that I am able to give more time to my family, but it also worries me that I am not able to train with the same intensity with which I used to earlier every morning and evening. I have followed the same training routine for a very long time. At home, I am able to do some light training and I have to be satisfied with whatever I am able to do. There is nothing else to do since you cannot move out anywhere.

I returned to Amritsar from Thiruvananthapuram (where he had been training with coach PB Jaikumar), and I think I made the right decision to come here. Had I chosen to remain there, it would have been very tough since they were shutting down the hostel and the mess. I would anyway have not been allowed to move anywhere. Now that I see everything shut, I feel that I am lucky to have made it back home. At least I do not have to worry about basic things like food and diet since I am with my family.

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When I had returned from Thiruvananthapuram, everyone was confident that the Federation Cup (scheduled in April) will be held. My target was to take part in the Federation Cup and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But I didn’t imagine that the Covid-19 pandemic would turn out so badly for all of us—that everyone and everything would be locked down, nobody would be allowed to go out of their homes and even competitions would get cancelled. We cannot do much now since the competitions have been postponed.

My personal training routine at home, which lasts for about one-and-a-half to two hours, is keeping me busy. I start at around 4pm; I have about 20-25m space at home so I try to do my best with it. I also have weights of around 90kg, so I try to do whatever I can—be it core exercises or weight training or even light training and stretching. In my free time I watch TV, play video games and sometimes listen to music. That’s how I usually pass time these days.

(As told to Devarchit Varma)

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Sunday, November 28, 2021