'I thought I had the winning jump': Sreeshankar after silver at AAC 2023
M Sreeshankar jumped a massive 8.37m on Saturday to qualify for the Paris Olympics and win the Asian Athletics C'ship silver medal. But he says he thought he had jumped even more.
Sreeshankar lived up to expectations at the Asian Athletics Championships in Thailand on Saturday as he not only clinched the silver medal with a huge 8.37 metres jump on his sixth attempt but also booked a spot in the Paris Olympics 2024. But the long jumper said he thought he had jumped much more than 8.37m.
The 24-year-old from Palakkad said at the post-competition press conference, "The 8.40 jump from Yu Tang Lin came as a surprise for me, but in such big competitions I have to hold my nerve, and I believe I did a good job in pulling off a strong jump on my sixth attempt."
Sreeshankar had jumped a distance of 8.12m till his last jump, when he pulled out a monstrous jump. He then looked back at his landing mark and let out a monstrous roar. However, as his mark of 8.37m appeared on the board, the Palakkad boy seemed disappointed.
He was seen having a long discussion with the officials.
"When I saw my last jump, I definitely thought it was above 8.45 because it was very close to the 8.50 mark, and I thought it was a winning jump, but unfortunately we fell short," Sree said.
Sreeshankar’s farthest jump in the season has been 8.41 meters, which the Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist achieved at the inter-state nationals that helped him qualify for the Asian Games.
Going a step further on Saturday, Sreeshankar also breached the Paris Olympics qualification mark of 8.27 metres opening up his 2024 season for a longer preparation period.
"I thought the winning distance would be 8.20–25 metres. I knew that the Chinese Taipei jumper was there, and there was another guy whose season best was 8.22," he said.