Long jumper Sreeshankar Murali sets national record, qualifies for the Olympics

Image Courtesy: SAI

Indian long jumping youngster Sreeshankar Murali has hit two birds in one stone, setting a new national record as well as clinching a spot for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, both on Tuesday.

On the second day of the ongoing 24th Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships currently hosted at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports complex in Patiala, Punjab, Murali clocked 8.26m in his fifth and final attempt, setting a new national record after his previous best of 8.20m which he achieved back in 2018.

The qualification mark to secure an Olympics berth was 8.22m and via his new national record, Murali has earned a chance to represent India at the grand quadrennial event, scheduled to kick off from 23rd July in the Japanese capital.

Sreeshankar Murali qualified for the Olympics along with setting a new national record in long jump. (Image Courtesy: Athletics Federation of India)

“#TOPSAthlete long jumper #Sreeshankar has qualified for #Tokyo2020 with a national record jump of 8.26m at the Federation Cup. He surpassed his own record of 8.20m and the Olympic qualifying mark of 8.22m,” the official Twitter handle of Sports Authority of India posted.

Murali’s first attempt was 8.02m, followed by registering 8.04m, 8.07m, and 8.09m in his second, third and fourth attempt respectively until he achieved the record number in the final attempt in the Men’s long jump final, which was also the only field event final that was hosted on the second day of the Federation Cup.

hailing out of Palakkad, Kerala, 21-year-old Murali is the third Indian athlete to qualify in field events, after Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh in the javelin throw.

Fellow Javelin thrower Annu Rani, unfortunately, narrowly missed her Olympics berth after clocking a distance of 63.24m on the inaugural day of the Federation Cup, as the cutoff distance was 64.00m.

Nonetheless, the best attempt at 63.24m set a new national record for the 27-year-old World No. 12 as well, along with an overall stupendous performance including three throws registering over 61m.

With the addition of Sreeshankar Murali into the national contingent, India’s hopes at the Olympic Games this year gets an increment just three days after two Tokyo-destined athletes, including one high profile 4x400m relay runner and gold medallist, failed National Anti Doping Agency’s (NADA) dope tests on Saturday.

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