World Athletics Championships: Sreeshankar fails to qualify for final in long jump

Sreeshankar Murali, who opened India's campaign at the World Athletics Championships finished with a best leap of 7.62m, while the qualification mark was set at 8.15.

Sreeshankar Murali in action. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

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 below that as he failed to qualify for 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 didn't want to be right, I prefer to be wrong, but this is life,” Bedrosian, the national coach for long jumpers who had taken a long break, told The Hindu from Romania on Friday night.

“He lacks experience, he should have gone for stronger meets before going to Doha. And the headwinds were a big problem for Sreeshankar today since he has a 67kg body.”

Only one jumper, Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria – the world leader with 8.65m - made the automatic qualification mark with an 8.40m effort and the next best was Olympic champion Jeff Henderson of the US 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.