Sreeshankar should focus on complete recovery, says chief coach Bahadur Singh

M. Sreeshankar, the long jump national record holder, is likely to go to the US for training.

M. Sreeshankar with his dad S. Murali during a training session in Palakkad.   -  Shaji Mullookkaran

Long jumper M. Sreeshankar may be down with a heel injury and disappointed that he would be missing next month’s Asian Athletics Championships in Doha but national chief coach Bahadur Singh feels that all that the national record holder should be thinking about now is complete rest and recovery.

“He is a big talent, his level is too high, we are expecting an Olympic medal from him, for me Sreeshankar is the No. 1 athlete,” Bahadur told Sportstar from Patiala.

“I’m surprised why he went to Sangrur (for the recent Indian Grand Prix). We don’t want a small injury to turn into a big one. What he needs now is complete recovery,” he added.

“I still remember (former Asian record holder) T.C. Yohannan’s injury. He reached a level where he could have probably brought us an Olympic medal but unfortunately, he suffered an injury in 1976.”

Impressed with progress

Bahadur said he was very impressed with how S. Murali has moulded Sreeshankar, who turned 20 on Wednesday, into a champion jumper.

“His dad is doing a wonderful job, otherwise he would not have come to this level, his mother (K.S. Bijimol) too. At the same time, they must think what is required at this stage,” said the Chief Coach.

“I’ve told him to shift to a centre where there is a proper recovery system. He should be training in a world-class centre where there is a proper physio, a proper doctor and proper equipment for if anything happens, he should be taken care immediately.”

That could happen in a few months time for Sreeshankar is likely to go to the US for training in June after competing in two Asian Grand Prix meets in China early that month.