Murali Sreeshankar, a long jumper, is confident about placing first at the world championships and t

Updated: Jul 19

Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar is second on the list of top performers this year with a best leap of 8.36 meters, which he believes qualifies him for medal competition at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham a few days after the World Athletics Championships next month.

The season's best jumpers, including Sreeshankar, who in April of this year broke the Indian record with a leap of 8.36 meters at the Federation Cup, are Miltiadis Tentaglou of Greece and Simon Ehammer of Switzerland (8.45). Additionally, he put in 8.31 million in Greece in May and 8.23 million earlier this month in Chennai.

Sreeshankar claims that after such results, he is extremely confident in his ability to place on the podium at the World Championship, which will take place in Oregon, USA, from July 15–24.

"I have run the 8.36 meters with Tentaglou, and there is a decathlete from Switzerland (Simon Ehmmer), who has run the 8.45 meters. Emiliano Lasa of Uruguay has run the 8.28 meters, so I believe the rivalry will be fierce. However, I am very confident that I will have a chance to win a medal there, and if I can perfect my rhythm, which I am currently working on and which is really about to happen, I am confident that I will cover the long-distance," Sreeshankar said during a discussion hosted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

His recent training and exposure trip to Greece, where he trained at the Olympic Stadium in Athens with close rival Tengaglou and participated in two competitive events, is another factor in his confidence and optimism. On this trip, he won the gold medal in his first outdoor international competition since the Tokyo Olympics last year. Sreeshankar's 8.31m leap was his first attempt above 8 meters this season while competing abroad. The other Indian to consistently cross the 8-meter mark this season is Jeswin Aldrin Johnson, who recorded an 8.23m.

According to Sreeshankar, who is coached by his father and had injury problems a few years ago, the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 were a terrible experience for him because he could only muster a subpar effort, managing a lousy 7.69 to place 13th in the preliminary round

Given that he had consistently cleared 8 meters or more in the lead-up, it was a startling performance from an athlete who was thought to be a lock to make the finals.

The 23-year-old from Kerala, who reportedly lost his nerve on the big stage, claims that the Tokyo Olympics and its aftermath have taught him a lot. He believes that this has given him the confidence and mental power to approach the competition in a better way going forward.

"I had a poor performance experience in Tokyo since I was unable to perform to the best of my ability. From that awful experience, I've learned a lot, and I'm now convinced I can perform well at the World Championships," Sreeshankar added.

Sreeshankar stated the World Championship is his first aim this season, but with the Commonwealth Games only 10 days away, he expects to reproduce the same performance and challenge for a medal there. He was unable to compete in the Diamond League competitions due to visa concerns.

"I would like to run a longer distance this season, but improving my record is my top aim. It would be fantastic to do this in the World Championship, which is the largest platform.

"I have a good chance of performing at my peak at the World Championship. In just 10 days, the Commonwealth Games will begin. Therefore, I won't perform well in one and horribly in the other. I anticipate giving both competitions my all effort because my preparations and performance should be roughly the same, said Sreeshankar, who participated in the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Sreeshankar, who earlier this year participated in the World Indoor Championship in Belgrade and placed eighth, said these experiences have been beneficial for him. He claimed that having recently competed against the same athletes, he is more at ease and familiar with the field.

The Olympics and the World Championships are significant occasions, and we are more than capable of giving those competitions our full effort. We just need to get used to the strain. With all the experience I am gaining, I am confident that I am progressing step by step, stated Sreeshankar.

The long jumper acknowledged the support of hockey player PR Sreejesh and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra in his efforts to bounce back from his disastrous performance in Tokyo.

Both of them, according to Sreeshankar, have had a significant impact on him. He intends to learn from their experiences and emulate them by winning gold at important competitors #wo

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