Murali Sreeshankar qualifies for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in the men’s long jump event
India's star long jumper Murali Sreeshankar on Sunday sealed his place at the 2023 World Athletics Championships with a jump of 8.41m at the ongoing 2023 National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The 24-year-old Murali, who returned to India after competing in a few competitions in Europe last month, cleared 8.41m in his very first attempt in the qualification round. Sreeshankar achieved his personal best on his first attempt during the heats at the Kalinga Stadium. He, however, missed out on equaling Jeswin Aldrin's national record of 8.42m by just a centimeter. Aldrin made the national record this year.
Meanwhile, Aldrin finished second with a throw of 7.83m, while Muhammed Anees Yahiya finished third with a throw of 7.71m. Twelve players made it to the finals to be held on Monday.
Murali had also crossed the 8.25m mark in an athletics meet in California, USA last month with an 8.29m effort. But since his jump was wind-assisted, it did not help him make the cut for the world championships. Last week, Murali Sreeshankar registered an impressive 8.09m long jump to claim the third spot at the Paris Diamond League 2023. Before that, Murali Sreeshankar won a World Athletics Continental Tour bronze label event in Kallithea, Greece with 8.18m and made the cut for the upcoming Asian Games in China. Murali Sreeshankar can join Neeraj Chopra at the Lausanne Diamond League on June 30.
The Asian Games qualifying standard in men's long jump is 7.95m. The qualifying standard for the men's long jump event at the World Championships is 8.25m. The tournament will start in Budapest, Hungary in August.
The women's long jump saw the 2022 national champion Ancy Sojan top the heats with an effort of 6.49m. Asian championships bronze medallist Nayana James came second with 6.31m followed by promising 19-year-old Shaili Singh, who hit the 6.27m mark.