India’s Murali Sreeshankar claims long jump gold in Greece
NEW DELHI: India’s premier long jumper Murali Sreeshankar won the gold medal at the 12th International Jumping Meeting in Kallithea, Greece with an effort of 8.31m. The Tokyo Olympian is the current national record holder with a jump of 8.36m, which he had achieved last month. Sreeshankar was followed by Swede Thobias Montler, who claimed silver with an 8.27m jump, and Jules Pommery of France, who bagged bronze with an 8.17m effort in the 10-man field. Only the top three jumpers crossed the 8m-mark.
Jeswin Aldrin, meanwhile, finished fifth after he hit the 7.69m mark at the 17th Iberoamerican Meeting in Huelva, Spain. Sreeshankar consistently jumping far.
Filip Pravdiva of Croatia (7.91m), Uruguay’s Emiliano Lasa (7.82m) and Peruvian José Luis Mandros (7.77m) completed the top three of the seven-man field. “Sreeshankar consistently jumping far. In 12th International Jumps Meeting , Kallithea, Greece, event part of World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze. Performance 8.31 meters,” Athletics Federation of India tweeted. Competing in his first outdoor international meet since the Olympics campaign, Sreeshankar warmed up on Wednesday evening with jumps of 7.88 and 7.71 metres before leaping 8.31 metres.
Sreeshankar came into the competition on back of his excellent domestic form where he repeatedly breached the 8m mark. The Kerala athlete logged 8.14m and 8.17m at the season-opening Indian Open Jumps Competitions in Thiruvanthapuram before breaking his own national record at the Federation Cup in Kozhikode after a close battle with Tamil Nadu’s Jeswin Aldrin. Indian athletes have been training and competing in Europe over the last few weeks.