"I was feeling weak": Sreeshankar opens up about Olympics Long Jump qualification failure

Athletics - Olympics: Day 8
Athletics - Olympics: Day 8

India’s national record holder in men’s long jump Murali Sreeshankar failed to enter the medal round at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday.

Kerala’s 21-years old long jumper best performance of 7.69m in the qualification round on Saturday wasn’t good enough to get him into the final.

As per the rules, the qualifying standard in the men’s long jump was 8.15m, or that the 12 best athletes go to the final. The Indian long jumper, with a performance of 7.69m was 25th overall in the field of 29 competitors in the qualification.

Check Out: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule

Finland's Kristian Pulli was the 12th man to enter the final. His best jump was 7.96m. Had Sreeshankar repeated his season-best 8.26m in qualification on Saturday in Tokyo, the passage to the final would have been smooth.

Sreeshankar’s final preparation wasn’t on expected lines. A minor ankle injury in the last week of June and a fitness test on July 21 were worrying factors for the young athlete from Kerala.

Sreeshankar, though, denied he suffered an ankle injury in June but admitted he was going through a bad patch.

Was feeling weak, couldn't get into form: Sreeshankar

“I was feeling weak. I couldn’t do well in the fitness trial on July 21. My best jump in the trials was less than 7.40m. I was expecting to record a minimum jump of 7.90m,” he said before packing his bags for Tokyo.

After his fitness trial in Bengaluru on July 21, there were 10 days left for Sreeshankar to set things right for the Olympics.

Sreeshankar was hopeful of regaining his lost form for an impressive debut at the Olympics. However, he crashed out in the qualification round of the Olympics on Saturday.

Sreeshankar skipped the Inter State Athletics Championships in the last week of June. In Sreeshankar’s absence, Muhammed Anees Yahiya claimed the men’s long jump gold with an effort of 7.76m.

Sreeshankar later denied he skipped the Inter State competition due to injury.

“Since my focus was the Olympics, I wanted to avoid the hot and humid weather conditions of Patiala and focus on my preparations for Tokyo,” was the reason he gave for skipping the meet.

In May, Sreeshankar expressed his apprehension of missing the international competition due to the pandemic.

He qualified for the Olympics in March. But he couldn’t compete in international tournaments due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India and the travel restrictions for Indians.

In March at the Federation Cup Athletics Championship in Patiala, Sreeshankar improved his national record to 8.26 meters which was better than the Tokyo Olympic qualification mark of 8.22m. His previous record was 8.20m set in 2018.

Quick Links

Edited by Rohit Mishra
Be the first one to comment