“All of us had been waiting for this medal for a very long time.” When Sreeshankar talked about “all”, he particularly meant his father and coach, Murali Sivashankar, a former triple-jumper, and mom KS Bijimol, who’s a former worldwide 800m runner.
“I was seventh at World Indoors, multiple times sixth in Asian Games and World Junior Championships. So this really means a lot to me,” he mentioned, speaking to TimesofIndia.com over the cellphone from Birmingham.
Had it not been for a controversial foul referred to as on Sreeshankar’s fourth-round leap, he would have been carrying gold as a substitute of a silver.
That leap regarded near the 8.20m mark, as Sreeshankar waited nervously to know if the try was authorized. It was declared a foul, and the margin was ever so little, even trying authorized in footage that circulated on social media quickly after.
(Photo Source: Twitter)
“I felt really good (about the fourth jump). The entire team was excited about that jump. But when it was ruled invalid, we were like, ‘oh, sh**’,” he recalled. “It was called foul by the smallest of margins you could ever imagine, but there is no point in saying it now. I am happy that I was able to do a good jump in the fifth round and be on the podium.”
On his fifth try, Sreeshankar equalled the mark of 8.08m registered by Laquan Nairn of Bahamas. The closing ended with each the lads on the identical mark, which meant Sreeshankar acquired pushed to the second place on countback. Sreeshankar’s second-best leap within the collection was 7.84m, whereas Nairn’s second-best distance learn 7.98m.
But the Indian is not in a complaining mode, be it luck or the change in guidelines and introduction of expertise by World Athletics final 12 months that presumably robbed him of a gold medal.
“I had been missing out on numerous occasions (on the international stage),” mentioned the 23-year-old nationwide document holder. “Tokyo (Olympics) didn’t go as planned. If you ask me, I never had any particular achievement to show to myself or other people. But now I am happy that at least I have a medal and can say that I worked hard all these years for this,” he advised TimesofIndia.com.
Keep watching that 8.08m leap on a loop…it is a Silver Medal for #India from Murli Sreeshankar 🇮🇳… https://t.co/cbHFkwhrDo
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) 1659660538000
For the good thing about sports activities followers, Sreeshankar went on to elucidate the change in rule that has left many athletes sad.
“Earlier, the foul board was inclined 45 degrees to the takeoff board. The plasticine was at a particular height above the takeoff board,” mentioned Sreeshankar.
A layer of plasticine was positioned proper after the takeoff board to detect if on the level of takeoff any a part of the competitor’s foot touched the foul line.
“But now the takeoff board and the foul board are at the same height and there is a horizontal plane in between,” he continued. “So instead of 45 degrees, there is a 90-degree plane. So if you have a perfect jump with no centimetre to spare and if the foot crosses the horizontal plane, then it is considered a foul. That’s how the new rule is. It has caused a lot of athletes a lot of trouble.
“Even the measuring now will not be with tape, it is a photographic measurement. The distance comes routinely on the display after we now have accomplished the leap,” he added.
Congratulations on winning a brilliant 🥈medal Sreeshankar Bhai! So good to see you believe in yourself till the end… https://t.co/F7O7GOgiBv
— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) 1659646942000
Rolling again the years to 2018, Sreeshankar could not have turned the tide in a greater manner after surviving life-threatening appendicitis, a lot in order that he broke the nationwide document in the identical 12 months after lacking out on the Gold Coast CWG to be able to recuperate.
“That time was very essential,” recalled Sreeshankar.
“I by no means thought it might be that critical. If the appendix bursts contained in the abdomen, there’s a excessive probability that an individual might die due to the potential an infection a ruptured appendicitis might trigger. Only after the surgical procedure did I realise that it was fairly a critical factor.
“The comeback journey was really tough, of course. I had to miss the (2018) CWG. Due to the infection and poisoning, I suffered a lot and had to go through a lot of pain. Eventually I was able to break the national record (8.20m) that year itself,” he additional advised TimesofIndia.com.
Sreeshankar has gone on to enhance his nationwide document twice since then, with an 8.26m leap in 2021 to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics after which bettering on that with 8.36m in 2022.
And now he has a CWG silver medal proudly sitting proudly on his chest.
M. Sreeshankar’s Silver medal on the CWG is a particular one. It is after many years that India has gained a medal in Men’s… https://t.co/WFlV3syZek
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1659667969000
“I would like to take it as a stepping stone or a humble beginning for much more to achieve. I will definitely try to carry forward the momentum I got here for the important tournaments and ultimately towards the Paris Olympics (in 2024).”
From Birmingham, Sreeshankar might be travelling straight to Monaco for the Diamond League, however he would not have any targets in thoughts, particularly when it comes to reaching a specific mark on the sand pit.
“In terms of distance, I haven’t set any specified kind of target. What I am looking at is to maintain consistency.”