Ace Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar, on Sunday, booked his berth at the 2023 World Athletics Championships with a personal best leap of 8.41m at the ongoing 2023 National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Having traveled back to India after competing in a few competitions in Europe over the last month, the 24-year-old registered his best attempt of 8.41m on the very first try of the qualification round.
With this effort, Sreeshankar also qualified for the upcoming 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, the qualification standard for which stood at 8.25m. He also went past the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games qualification mark of 7.95m.
"The wind reading was fine, it was 1.5m/s. Just short of the national record but I am happy to have made this jump," Sreeshankar, who was representing Kerala, said after the event.
Aldrin was second with a best jump of 7.83m while Muhammed Anees Yahiya was third with 7.71m, as 12 long jumpers made it to the final to be held on Monday.
The Kerala lad also became only the second Indian to breach the 8.4m mark in the long jump. He achieved the feat just months after his counterpart Jeswin Aldrin registered a massive 8.42m jump in March earlier this year.
India now boasts of having the world's two best jumpers in 2023. The world lead in men's long jump stands in the name of Aldrin at 8.42m and is now closely followed by Sreeshankar at 8.41m.
No other long jumper has touched the 8.4m mark yet in any recognized competitions in 2023.
(With PTI Inputs)