Asian bronze medallist M.P. Jabir qualified for the men's 400m hurdles semifinal finishing third in his heat in 49.62s on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships.

However, Dharun Ayyasamy, who was returning from a long injury break, was sixth in his heat in 50.55s and failed to qualify. The semifinals will be held on Saturday.

Sreeshankar fails to impress

A few days ago, Romanian Bedros Bedrosian had predicted a 7.70m for M. Sreeshankar in his World Athletics Championships debut and the Indian national record holder (with 8.20m) was a shade behind that as he failed to qualify for the men's long jump final in Doha on Friday evening.

The 20-year-old had a best of 7.62m in the second of his three-jump qualification series, after opening with 7.52, and failed to make the qualification standard of 8.15m. He finished 12th in his group and 22nd overall.

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“I felt weak, my body was not reacting well. There were also problems with my approach, my rhythm was bad, I didn't know what I was doing,” Sreeshankar told Sportstar from Doha.

Meanwhile, Bedrosian felt that Sreeshankar should have been sent for stronger meets prior to the Worlds. “He lacks experience. And the headwinds were a big problem for Sreeshankar today since he has a 67kg body,” said the national coach for long jumpers who has taken a long break, from Romania.

Only one jumper, Cuban world leader Juan Miguel Echevarria, made the automatic qualification mark with 8.40m. Next best was Olympic champion Jeff Henderson with 8.12. With just one jumper making the qualification cut, the best 12 were picked for the final.

South Africa's Luvo Manyonga, the Olympic silver medallist, was among those who qualified with a best of 7.91m for the 10th spot.