Moment of the Year: India's triple jumpers produce magical 1-2

Eldhose Paul (L), Abdulla Aboobacker(R) celebrate their gold and silver medals in men's triple jump at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

As a memorable 2022 draws to end, ESPN India picks ten images that tell the story of the most extraordinary Indian sports moments witnessed over the year. Our second moment has a rare feat in Indian sport: two Indians on the podium of a major international track and field event.

You wouldn't remember Eldhose Paul's first attempt in the men's triple jump finals of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. It was a poor effort of 14.62m, which was the third worst among all the athletes. What you'll remember is that at the end of the final, Eldhose won the gold medal and this image says it all: it ended up being a historic event for Indian sport. Two Indian athletes finished on podium, with Abdulla Aboobacker bagging the silver medal after a best jump of 17.02.

In fact, it could've been three Indians on the podium if not for Bermuda's Jah-Nhai Perinchief and his 16.92m jump. Praveen Chithravel finished fourth, with a jump of 16.89m.

For Indian athletics, and Indian sports in general, this was a moment that was defined by its rarity and the sheer weight of success depicted. How often do you see three Indians going toe-to-toe for all three medals of a track and field event at the world stage? This was a great sporting drama, elevated by the fact that it involved three athletes from a country that is not known to produce winners in that particular sport.

After that first jump, Eldhose knew it couldn't get worse. He knew the only way was progress. A much better second jump of 16.30 gave him confidence, but it was his third jump that fetched him gold. Mere seconds after the jump, he knew he had nailed a good one, his hands raised and letting out a roar. But he had to wait for the official result with officials taking their time with the measurement. Hands on his knees, Eldhose's eyes were firmly staring at the screen. When it showed 17.03m, Eldhose couldn't stop himself from celebrating again. This was it, his best shot at the top prize.

Meanwhile, Chithravel kept himself in the medal contention with solid jumps. His third attempt of 16.89 would give him at least a bronze as Perinchief was placed second thanks to his big first jump.

After three attempts, Aboobacker was fourth with a best jump of 16.71. He was making gradual progression but suffered a minor blip in the fourth attempt when his jump was recorded 16.70, which was less than his previous jump. He had two more attempts left to make an impact.

Aboobacker took a few side steps after the fifth jump and closely saw his landing point. He was surprised as this was definitely above the 17m mark. But unlike Eldhose, he was pretty calm, with head bowed down and both hands raised pointing to the sky. The jump pushed him up to the second spot.

Perinchief couldn't produce a jump better than Aboobacker in his final attempt, which confirmed the terrific 1-2 for the Indian athletes.