Asian Athletics Championships: Keralite Sreeshankar wins silver, qualifies for Paris Olympics

M Sreeshankar continued his fine run. File photo: AFP/Fabrice Coffrini

Bangkok: Star Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar on Saturday qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics after winning a silver medal in the Asian Athletics Championships with a second career-best effort of 8.37m here.

The 24-year-old Sreeshankar achieved the Olympic qualification with his final round jump of 8.37m. The Paris Games mark is 8.27m and the qualification period began on July 1.

Yu Tang Lin of Chinese Taipei won the gold with a fourth round jump of 8.40m, which is the third best effort in the world this season.

Sreeshankar has already qualified for the Budapest World Championships in August with his career-best and world second-ranked jump of 8.41m during the qualification round of the National Inter-State Championships last month.

The Indian mixed 4x400m relay quartet of Rajesh Ramesh, Aishwarya Mishra, Amoj Jacob and Subha Venkatesan clinched the gold with a time of 3 minute and 14.70 seconds while Sarvesh Anil Kushare and Swapna Barman added a silver each in men's high jump and heptathlon respectively.

It was the first major international medal for Kushare. His earlier success was the gold in 2019 South Asian Games.

India has so far won 14 medals -- six gold, four silver and four bronze.

Earlier, Santhosh Kumar won bronze medal in men's 400m hurdles with a personal best time of 49.09 seconds on the fourth and penultimate day of competitions.

Santhosh clocked the fastest time by an Indian in men's 400m hurdles this year when he finished behind gold medal winner Mohammed Hemeida Bassem (48.64 seconds) of Qatar and Yusaku Kodama (48.96) of Japan.

The 25-year-old's previous best was 49.49 which he had clocked last year.

Another Indian Yashas Palaksha had also qualified for the final but he did not take part.

No Indian has ever won a men's 400m hurdles gold in Asian Championships. Joseph Abraham's silver in 2009 edition was the best performance by an Indian while he also won a bronze in 2007. M P Jabir won a bronze each in the last two editions

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