Triple jumper Arpinder Singh made history on Sunday by becoming the first Indian to win a medal in the IAAF Continental Cup when he secured bronze, but javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra finished sixth with a below-normal performance . Arpinder, who had won gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta, cleared a modest 16.59m in the first of his three jumps to be in the four-man semifinals. He could only clear a jump of 16.33m in his next attempt to miss the final jump of two men. Nonetheless, he collected a bronze. Arpinder, 25, represented the Asia-Pacific team at the meeting, which takes place once every four years. He jumped 16.77m in Jakarta and has a personal record of 17.17m that he registered in 2014.
No Indian has won a medal in the Continental Cup that was known as the IAAF World Cup before 2010. Two great athletes from the four regions of Europe, America, Africa and Asia-Pacific participated in each of the 36 men's events and sections of women taken together. The current Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor of the United States easily took the gold with a jump of 17.59m, which is one meter more than the best effort of Arpinder.
Taylor, 28, beat the silver medalist of the Hugues World University Games Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso, who cleared 17.02m, in the final round of two men. Taylor, who represented the Americas, has a personal record of 18.21m.
In the men's javelin throw, the current Commonwealth Games and Asian Games champion, Neeraj, finished disappointingly sixth in the field of eight men with a better 80.24 meters of his three pitches. Neeraj started with 80.24m and then could only clear 79.76m on his second attempt. His third pitch was a dirty attempt. This was Neeraj's worst international performance this season. He had an 80.81m in Eugene's stage of the Diamond League Series.
In most other events, he has been consistently throwing above 85m. He had won the gold of the Asian Games with a national record of 88.06m last month. Reigning Olympic champion Thomas Roehler of Germany took the gold by beating Neeroj's teammate in Asia-Pacific, Chao-Tsun Cheng, in the final round of two men. Cheng had 81.81m while Roehler sent the spear at 87.07m to take the gold.
In a change of format made by the IAAF, the global governing body of athletics, each competitor (in jumps and horizontal shots) received three attempts. The best athlete of each team of these three rounds has the opportunity to get the fourth release. The two best interpreters in the fourth round will each have one more attempt and the performance in that fifth and final round will determine the winner. The new format was presented this year with the aim of making the event more interesting.
In the men's 400 meters, the holder of the national record Mohd. Anas ran with a good timing of 45.72 seconds, but that was enough for a fifth place. His teammate in Asia and the Pacific Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar won gold at 44.72.
Haroun had won the gold in the Asian Games at 44.89 while Anas had settled for a silver with a time of 45.69m. In the men's 1500m race, Jinson Johnson finished sixth, recording 3 minutes 41.72 seconds. He had won a gold in the Asian Games in this event with a time of 3: 44.72. Johnson also competed in the 800-meter race on Saturday, finishing seventh in an eight-man field.
Meanwhile, Sudha Singh did not finish her women's event of 3,000 meters with obstacles. She had won a silver in the Asian Games. On Saturday, PU Chitra had finished a fourth surprise in the women's 1500m race. She had won a bronze in this event at the Asian Games.