Tamil Nadu’s triple jumper Praveen Chitravel achieved a remarkable milestone at the Interstate Meet at Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday. The youngster produced an impressive leap of 17.18 meters to qualify for the World Championship. He also became only the fifth Indian to cross the 17m barrier, after Renjith Maheshwary (17.30m), Abdulla Aboobacker (17.19), Arpinder Singh (17.17m) and Karthik Unnikrishnan (17.10).
Chitravel became the third Indian to breach the 17m mark in triple jump this year. While Arpinder and Maheshwary did it earlier, the likes of Aboobacker and Unnikrishnan entered the list this year.
Praveen Chitravel with a massive 17.18m in the men’s triple jump at the Inter State Championships. The 21 year old from Tamil Nadu makes the third highest jump in Indian history. He qualifies for the World Championships. Still 4 more jumps to go. pic.twitter.com/bvFsgQOFxN
– jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) June 14, 2022
In a conversation with Indian Express, Chitravel explained how hard he has been trying to breach the 17m mark.
“I have always been close to the mark but missed it due to some reason or the other. This time, everything fell in place and I am really pleased I could breach the 17m mark,” the athlete was quoted as saying.
For the last 8 months, Chitravel has been focussing completely on his training. Due to the tight routine, he hasn’t even visited his home to see his family. However, on Tuesday, when he achieved the new record and booked his berth at the World Championship, he called up her mother who was already following the event on a live streaming.
“I spoke to my mother. She cried seeing my jump live. She told me, ‘It’s your home ground, you know what to do, I don’t need to tell you what to do.’ It’s been 7-8 months since I went home. I am used to being away from home. I come from a sports family so they know the drill,” Chitravel told the IE.
The previous inter-state meet record was held by Arpinder Singh, achieved back in 2014 in Lucknow in 2014. Chitravel’s effort came in his second attempt which ensured his participation at the mega event, scheduled to take place in Oregon. The entry standard for worlds is 17.14m.
Chitravel is currently getting coached by Cuba’s Yoandri Betanzos who has been a two-time World Championship medallist.