In his first Diamond League appearance of the season, Sreeshankar Murali finished an impressive third in the men’s long jump event at Meeting de Paris on Friday.
The Indian, who had won silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, finished with a best effort of 8.09m on the night, behind only Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou (8.13m) and Worlds bronze medallist Simon Ehammer (8.11m) in a closely fought competition.
With this result, Sreeshankar earned himself six points towards qualification for the Diamond League season finale. He also became only the third Indian athlete to finish in the top three of an event at a Diamond League meeting, behind Vikas Gowda and 2022 Diamond League champion Neeraj Chopra.
Sreeshankar started the night off with a 7.79m jump and that put him fourth after the first attempts were completed. He then improved his mark to 7.94m and moved into the top three after two rounds. All the while Tentoglou continued to set the pace but didn’t break free.
The third attempt was Sreeshankar’s best of the night. An 8.09m saw him move to second.
But when there was no mark from Sreeshankar in his 4th attempt, he moved a place down to third as Ehammer sneaked into second place with an 8.11m.
Sreeshankar, who has a personal best of 8.36m and a wind-legal best of 8.18m this season, didn’t improve his best on the night with his fifth attempt. But he had done enough to finish in the top three, even ahead of Olympic bronze medallist Maykel Masso.
The sixth attempts for the top three weren’t an improvement and the order remained unchanged.
While Sreeshankar would have hoped to reach the 8.25m-mark that would have automatically qualified him for the World Championships, almost all of the jumps happened into the wind for the athletes, perhaps explaining the lower than usual marks for even the likes of Tentoglou and Ehammer.
Sreeshankar, who is still on track on qualify in terms of his rankings points, will have another chance to hit the 8.25m mark this season, at the Inter-State meet coming up in Odisha.
Sreeshanka's results in 2023
|10 APR 2023||Indian Grand Prix, Sree Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium, Bengaluru||7.94||-1.6|
|30 APR 2023||MVA HP #1, CVEATC, Chula Vista, CA||8.29||+3.1|
|24 MAY 2023||International Jumping Meeting "Filahtlitikos Kallithea", Grigoris Lambrakis Stadium, Kallithea, Athina||8.18||+0.6|
|09 JUN 2023||Meeting de Paris, Stade Charléty, Paris - Diamond Discipline||8.09||0.0|