Sreeshankar shatters national record

Muralikumar Gavit and L. Surya complete the long-distance double on the penultimate day of the National Open athletics championships.

M. Sreeshankar in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

M. Sreeshankar bettered Ankit Sharma’s National and meet record in the men’s long jump to steal the show on the penultimate day of the National Open athletics championships here on Thursday.

The 19-year-old, who could not return desired results in the World juniors and the Asian Games, recorded a jump of 8.20m, one centimetre more than Ankit’s National mark, in his fifth attempt to infuse life into an event that was marred by pull-outs of big stars.

Backed by his father and coach S. Murali, a former international triple jumper, Sreeshankar overcame a heat-stroke on Wednesday to register 7.95m and a foul in his first two attempts. He came back stronger to smash the meet record of 7.87m a by covering a distance of 8.11m.

After a foul in his fourth jump, Sreeshankar leaped high and long enough to leave everyone, including himself, stunned. The youngster moved around the pit to have a closer look at his feat and punched in the air even before the result was announced.

Change in technique

“This would have got me a medal in the Asian Games. I missed out on so many important medals after my appendicitis surgery in March. Even today, I was not sure of competing due to the heat-stroke,” said Sreeshankar, whose previous best was 7.99m at the Federation Cup in March.

The young jumper said a subtle change of technique helped him. “My father changed my technique related to my approach. The performance of fellow competitors also encouraged me.”

Jinesh of Services also performed exceptionally well and his effort of 7.95m secured the silver medal. Ankit Sharma, however, was off colour as he fouled his first three jumps.

An error-prone Kamalpreet Kaur was lucky enough to throw the discus to 56.11m in her sixth and final attempt and push a consistent Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, who did a 54.84m, to the second place.

Muralikumar Gavit and L. Surya took the men and women’s 5000m titles respectively to complete their long-distance double.

The results (finals)

Men: 5000m: 1. Muralikumar Gavit (Guj) 14:35.96s, 2. Abhishek Pal (Rlys) 14:36.62, 3. Man Singh (Rlys) 14:37.18; 4x100m relay: 1. Railways (Mohit, Sudhakar Chintha, Manikandan Raj, B. Siva Kumar) 40.54, 2. Punjab (Angrej Singh, Harjit Singh, Gurlal Singh, Akashdeep Singh) 40.79, 3. Manipur (Malik Singh, Palla Nagarjuna, A. Phadtare, Abhijit Nair) 40.96; Long jump: 1. M. Sreeshankar (Ker) 8.20m (NR, Old: Ankit Sharma, 8.19m, 2016; NMR, Old: Ankit, 7.87m, 2014), 2. V.O. Jinesh (Ser) 7.95, 3. Sahil Mahabali (Har) 7.81m; Shot put: 1. Praveen (Ser) 18.76, 2. Jasdeep Singh (Pun) 18.73, 3. Sunil Kumar (Rlys) 18.09; Hammer: 1. Taranveer Singh (Ser) 63.12, 2. Damneet Singh (ONGC) 62.27, 3. Sukhdev Singh (Rlys) 61.56.

Women: 5000m: 1. L. Surya (Rlys) 16:10.35s, 2. Parul Chaudhary (Rlys) 16:13.88, 3. Monika Athare (LIC) 16:24.42; 20km race walk: 1. Ravina (Har) 1:42.32, 2. Priyanka (Rlys) 1:45.32, 3. Vandana (Chd) 1:49.25; 4x100m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu (S. Dhanalakshmi, A. Chandralekha, C. Kanimozhi, S. Archana) 46.03, 2. Railways (N. Shardha, Sonal Chawla, Priyanka, Himashree Roy) 46.38, 3. Maharashtra (Ankita Gosavi, Diandra Valladares, Rosalin Lewis, Rshmi Sheregar) 47.12; Discus: 1. Kamalpreet Kaur (Rlys) 56.11m, 2. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (Rlys) 54.84, 3. Sandeep Kumari (Rlys) 53.96; Pole vault: 1. Khyati Vakharia (Kar) 4, 2. Krishna Rachan (Rlys) 3.95, 3. Maria Jaison (Kar) 3.7.