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Ecstasy and agony for Jeswin Aldrin in Men's Long Jump, Sreeshankar has the last laugh

'I can only perform when pushed to the limit,' says Sreeshankar after registering a new national record at the Federation Cup.

Ecstasy and agony for Jeswin Aldrin in Mens Long Jump, Sreeshankar has the last laugh

Jeswin Aldrin and Sreeshankar at the end of the Long Jump final (AFI)


SS Manoj

Updated: 12 April 2022 4:28 PM GMT

Tenjhipalam (Malappuram): Jeswin Aldrin's massive effort of 8.36m in men's long jump brought loud cheers from the motley holiday crowd on the second day of the 25th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships at the Calicut University Stadium here on Sunday. But his joy was short-lived when news was relayed that his leap of 8.37 had been aided by a wind speed of 4.1 m/s, much above the permissible wind aid of 2 m/s.

Kerala's M Sreeshankar, the reigning national record holder with 8.26m, set in the same event last year at Patiala, followed Jeswin's record breaking effort. He started with 8.16m before fouling in his second jump. In the third attempt, Sreeshankar got into his groove. He hit the board and cycled to land a jump which measured 8.36m, improving his personal best by 10 centimetres. The Palakkad boy, who turned 23 last Sunday, fouled again before his fifth effort was at 8.07m and his final jump too was red flagged.

At the same time, Jeswin, coached by five-time world champion Yoandris Bentazos of Cuba for several months at JSW's Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, Karnataka, opened with 8.01m followed it up with 8.14m, 8.37m (wind aided), 8.26m, foul and 8.16m.

Sreeshankar's teammate Muhammed Anees took the bronze with an effort of 8.06m.

It was later confirmed by AFI officials that Jeswin won the gold medal but his effort of 8.37m will not be ratified as a new national record as it was wind-aided.

"What can I say? These (wind-aid) things are not in my hands. I took advantage of the situation. That's all. I'm just fine with my efforts today. I can only do better and better in the future. But I'm really happy and proud of my efforts," said the 20-year-old from Tamil Nadu's Mudalur village in Thoothukudi district.

"I'm always in my groove. I can only perform when pushed to the limit. I did it in Trivandrum (during the first National Open Jumps Competitions on March 1) when Anees pushed me with an 8.15m leap which I answered with 8.17m. Today too, after Jeswin's (8.37m) effort, I was never under pressure but instead I found my bearings," said Sreeshankar, who was mobbed by the crowd after his effort.

"I won't say I'm the best. I will prove that in international meets too. I hope my show today will answer all my critics," the youngster said before being taken by NADA for dope tests.

Sreeshankar's father M Murali, a former triple jumper, has been his personal coach for over 10 years .The AFI dropped the national record holder from the national camp and and his father was axed citing poor performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games. "We won't stop till he crosses 8.50m. I'm sure he will do it this season," Murali told The Bridge after the event.

Aldrin's coach Yoandris told The Bridge that the trio of Sreeshankar, Aldrin and Anees are India's shining hopes in long jump in the immediate future. "I found all three jumpers to be great, with little to separate them. This is good for Indian athletics. All their performances were good today and I'm sure this is an exciting day for Indian athletics," the Cuban said.

Sreeshankar's effort will take him to Oregon in the US for the World Championships from July 15 to 24, for Birmingham Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8 and the Hangzhou Asian Games from September 10 to 25.

For the Worlds the entry standards was set by 8.22m while for the CWG and Asiad it was 8.00m and 7.98m, respectively. Jeswin too is expected to board the flights for all three events as his fourth attempt which measured of 8.26m helped him achieve all three entry standards.

The duo will join Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra, discus thrower Kamalpreet Singh and steeplechaser Avinash Sable.

In a late reaction, a top official from Asian Athletics Association was aghast at the turn of things during the long jump events here. "I was watching it live. This is ridiculous. The difference with attempts made by jumpers is one minute or two. How can winds gauge change so drastically? I'm at a loss of words," he said, requesting anonymity.

Aishwarya marches to 400m crown

Mumbai girl Aishwarya Mishra set a new meet record in women's 400m, stopping the clock at 51.18 seconds pleasantly surprising all. In the last 100m or so she was in huge lead and in sublime form leaving the field to fight for minor medals. Hima Das and Manjeet Kaur are the others who have had better times than Aishwarya.

In a photo-finish B Siva Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 10.37s) emerged fastest among men while Dutee Chand (Odisha, 11.4s) the best among women in the 100m finals.

In decathlon, Sourabh Rathi, just 21, of Uttar Pradesh, made his senior debut memorable winning the gold after garnering 6643 points.

Other outstanding performances came from Ajay Saroj (UP) and Lili Das (West Bengal) in 1500m events. Asian champion Jinson Johnson came third in his first competition after two years.

In the morning women's 100m hurdles, Jyothi Yarraji of Andhra Pradesh clocked 13.43s to finish first in her heats and erased a 16-year-old record of 13.48s set by Anuradha Biswal.

Final results


100m: B Siva Kumar (TN, 10.37 seconds), V K Elakkiadasan (TN, 10.37s), Harjit Singh (Punjab, 10.43s); 400m: Rajesh Ramesh (TN, 46.45s), Akash Kumar (UP, 46.57s), Noah Nirmal Tom (Ker, 46.81s); 1500m: Ajay Saroj (UP, 3:42.36), Rahul (Delhi, 3:42.40s), Jinson Johnson (Ker, 3;43.48s); Long Jump: Jeswin Aldrin (TN, 8.37m (New National and Meet Records. Old: 8.26m, M Sreeshankar, Patiala 2021), M Sreeshankar (Kerala, 8.36), Muhammed Anees (Ker, 8.06m); Javelin Throw: Rohit Yadav (UP, 81.83m), P Manu (Karnataka, 79.17), Sahil Silwal (Haryana, 73.35m); Decathlon: Sourabh Rathi (UP, 6643 points; 100m: 11.50s, LJ: 6.60m, SP: 10.91m, HJ: 1.80m, 400m: 51.64s, 110mH: 15.85s, DT: 32.85m, PV: 4.10m, JT: 52.02m, 1500m: 4:32.76), Boota Singh (Har, 6619), Mohit (Har, 6613).


100m: Dutee Chand (Oda, 11.49s), MV Jilna (Kerala, 11.63s), NS Simi (Kar, 11.71s); 400m: Aishwarya Mishra (Mah, 51.18s NMR, OMR: 51.28s by Nirmala Sheoran in 2017), MR Poovamma (Kar, 52.70s), Dandi Jyotika Sri (AP, 53.90S); 1500m: Lili Das (WB, 4:15.46s), Ankita Dhyani (Uttarakhand, 4:16.07s), Chanda (Delhi, 4:16.41s); Shot Put: Abha Khatua (Mah, 16.75m), Manpreet Kaur (Pun, 16.21m); Kachnar Chaudhary (Raj, 14.95m).

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