Sreeshankar finishes 7th in World C’ships long jump final

Having become the first Indian male athlete to qualify for the long jump final at the World Championships, Sreeshankar had raised hopes of a historic medal in the showpiece.
Murali Sreeshankar
Murali Sreeshankar

EUGENE: Long jumper Murali Sreeshankar failed to live up to the expectations as he finished seventh in the final with his best effort of 7.96m on day two of the World Athletics Championships here on Sunday.

Having become the first Indian male athlete to qualify for the long jump final at the World Championships, Sreeshankar had raised hopes of a historic medal in the showpiece.

But, his performance in the final was way below his season’s and personal best of 8.36m. He had three legal jumps – the opening jump of 7.96m, fourth-round effort of 7.89m and last attempt of 7.83m.The other three tries were fouls.

He had progressed to the final with a best jump of 8m in the qualification round on Saturday, finishing second in Group B and seventh overall. Sreeshankar had headed into the championships in the joint second spot in the season’s top list on the basis of his national record 8.36m jump a few months ago.

China’s Jianan Wang clinched the gold medal with a sensational final-round jump of 8.36m while Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, who was leading till the penultimate round, won silver with a best effort of 8.30m. Season leader Simon Ehammer (8.16m) from Switzerland took home the bronze medal.

His father and coach S Murali said that Sreeshankar could not jump more than 8.16m, which would have given him a bronze medal, due to bad luck. “Sreeshankar was confident of doing well, but it was sheer bad luck. Jumping more than8.16m was within his reach and he has done it many times this season, ”Murali told PTI.

“The third jump turned out to be a foul by just 3mm and had it been a legal one, Sreeshankar would have crossed at least 8.16m and won a medal. But, we have to look ahead and do well at the Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham),” added Murali.

Meanwhile, Parul Chaudhary clocked her personal best timing of9:38.09 in women’s 3000msteeplechase to finish12th in heat No.2 and miss out on the final. She finished 31st overall. The top-three finishers in each of the three heat sand the next six fastest across heats qualified for the final. Parul’s previous personal best was the 9:38.29 effort which she had clocked during the Indian Grand Prix series in Thiruvananthapuram in March.

In men’s 400m hurdles, MP Jabir failed to advance to the semi-finals after finishing seventh and last in heat No.2 with a timing of 50.76s. He finished 31st overall. The top-four finishers from each of the five heats and the next four fastest across heats qualified for the semi-finals. Jabir recorded a season’s best of 49.76s while winning the gold medal at the National Inter-State Championships last month. He has a personal best of 49.13s.

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