Paris: Keralite M Sreeshankar added another international medal to his growing list of conquests by finishing third at the long jump event of the Paris Diamond League 2023 here on Saturday. He clinched bronze with an impressive attempt of 8.09m.
The 24-year-old Sreeshankar's best leap came in his third try in the competition which featured the top long jumpers in the world.
Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece took top honours with a jump of 8.13m, while World Championships bronze medalist Simon Ehammer of Switzerland finished second (8.11m). Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Maykel Masso had to be content with a sixth-place finish as the Cuban could only produce a best jump of 7.83m.
Sreeshankar started with two average jumps of 7.79m and 7.94m, but took the lead in the third round with an 8.09m leap. Ehammer, who covered a distance of 8.11m in his fourth attempt, pushed Sreeshankar to second spot. However, Tentoglou produced a giant leap of 8.13m in his fifth attempt to leapfrog to the top spot. Sreeshankar, who was the only Indian at the event, fouled his fourth and sixth attempts and hit 7.99m in his fifth attempt.
Sreeshankar became only the third Indian to win a medal at the Diamond League after ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won the Doha Diamond League last month, and discus thrower Vikas Gowda, silver medalist at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League Series in Doha. Last year, in Monaco, he finished sixth with a jump of 7.94m.
Sreeshankar had won silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham. The Palakkad-based athlete had also become the first Indian male long jumper to qualify for World Athletics Championships finals in July, 2022.