Top Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar cleared 8.09m to finish third in the Paris Diamond League 2023 in France on Saturday. He achieved podium in this prestigious competition for the first time. Commonwealth Games silver medalist Sreeshankar produced the best jump of the day in his third attempt on Friday night.
Sreeshankar is only the third Indian to secure a podium position in the Paris Diamond League 2023 event. Before him, Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and discus thrower Vikas Gowda have achieved podium positions in the Diamond League. Sreeshankar's effort of 8.09m was below his current season's best of 8.18m. He had won gold with this distance in Greece last month. The 24-year-old has a personal best of 8.36m which came last year.
In the men's long jump event of the Paris Diamond League 2023, the competitors faced strong headwinds for most of the time which affected their performance. Olympic champion and world-ranked Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece finished first with a better performance of just four meters over Sreeshankar. While World Championship bronze medalist Simon Ehammer (SW) of Switzerland finished second with a jump of 8.11m.
All the attempts of Sreeshankar were 7.79, 7.94, 8.09, foul, 7.99m, and foul meter respectively. He reached the top after the third round but was overtaken by Ehammer and Tentoglou thereafter. The Indian, however, finished ahead of Olympic bronze medalist Maykel Masso of Cuba (sixth with 7.83m) and world number four Thobias Montler of Sweden (seventh with 7.82m).
Meanwhile, Olympic champion Chopra is the current Diamond League champion in the javelin throw. He had topped the Doha leg this season. He is still recovering from the injury. While Gowda was the runner-up in 2012 (New York) and 2014 (Doha). He finished third twice in 2015 (Shanghai and Eugene).
Sreeshankar had earlier finished sixth in the Monaco stage last year. He secured six qualification points for the Diamond League Finals of the season in Eugene, USA in September. He also scored crucial points to qualify for the World Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungary in August.