Inability to travel abroad hurts long jump champ Sreeshankar


With roughly two months to go for Tokyo Olympic Games, India’s national record holder in men’s long jump Murali Sreeshankar expressed disappointment at missing out on international exposure trips due to the ongoing pandemic.

“I had qualified for Olympics in March. To polish my competitive skills, there was a plan to compete in 2-3 international competitions in May, but I couldn’t travel abroad due to travel restrictions. Lack of good competitions is not the best kind of preparation,” said the 22-year-old on Saturday during an online media interaction.

Earlier in March, during the Federation Cup Athletics Championships in Patiala, Sreeshankar improved his national record to 8.26 metres which was better than the Tokyo Olympic qualification mark of 8.22m. His previous record was 8.20m set in 2018.

Sreeshankar has revised his international exposure tour due to the pandemic.

“I’ve plans to compete in Europe, but if it does not happen then the second option would be to participate on the Asian circuit. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are the two countries where I plan to go in June,” he said.

The Palakkad-based international jumper said if the crisis deepens in coming days and he isn’t able to go for the Asian circuit, the last option would be to compete in domestic competition in June.

“The Indian Grand Prix 4 on June 15 and Inter-State Athletics Championship from June 25 would enable me to evaluate my performance,” he said.