Sreeshankar finishes 7th in men's long jump final

M Sreeshankar in action
M Sreeshankar in action in the final at the World Athletics Championships. Photo: AFP/Andrej Isakovic

Eugene (USA): Keralite M Sreeshankar finished seventh in the final of the men's long jump event at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday.

Three fouls in six attempts meant that Sreeshankar could not better the 7.96m which he made in his first jump.

His other attempts saw 7.89m (fourth jump) and 7.83m (sixth jump), all far short of what the 23-year-old had been putting on display this past season.

Though Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou claimed the top spot with his 8.32m for a greater part of the event, China's Jianan Wang, who was languishing at 5th position, pulled off a brilliant 8.36m in his final jump to snatch the gold, sending the former to settle for the silver.

China's Jianan Wang pulled off a miracle in his final jump to snatch the gold. Photo: AFP/ Patrick Smith
China's Jianan Wang pulled off a miracle in his final jump to snatch the gold. Photo: AFP/ Patrick Smith

In his first five attempts, Wang had managed a best of only 8.03m.

Switzerland's Simon Ehammer who made 8.16m took the bronze.

Sreeshankar's 8m effort took him to the final. File photo: AFP/'Ben Stansall

In any case, Sreeshankar, who had entered the ongoing championships as a dark horse for a medal, has created history already when he finished second in qualification round Group B and seventh overall, thereby becoming the first Indian to qualify for the finals of the long jump event.

He had been a consistent performer with his 8.36m jump at the Federation Cup in April, followed by 8.31m and 8.23m at an event in Greece and National Inter-State Championships respectively.

The only other jumper to have recorded more 8m this season has been Tentoglou with 10 jumps.

Sreeshankar had come seventh in another major competition in 2022 as well - the World Indoor (7.92m).

A medal in the final would have made Sreeshankar the first Indian man to bag one at World Athletics Championships.

Anju Bobby George was the first Indian to make it to the World Championships long jump finals and the lone athlete from the country to win a medal -- bronze in the 2003 edition in Paris.

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