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'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.

I thought I had the winning jump: Sreeshankar after silver at AAC 2023

Sreeshankar checks with the officials after his 8.37m jump (Screenshot)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 15 July 2023 3:45 PM GMT

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.

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