Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Murali Sreeshankar, the star Indian long jumper, has booked his ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics after winning a silver medal at the Asian Athletics Championships 2023 in Bangkok on Saturday. The 24-year-old Kerala athlete produced a second career-best jump of 8.37m in his final attempt to secure second place and achieve the Olympic qualification mark of 8.27m.

Sreeshankar, who trains under his father and former South Asian triple jump silver medallist S. Murali, had already qualified for the World Championships in Budapest in August with his national record-breaking jump of 8.41m at the National Inter-State Championships last month and is currently ranked sixth in Asia and 14th in the world in the men's long jump.

Sreeshankar was beaten to the gold medal by Yu Tang Lin of Chinese Taipei, who leaped to 8.40m in his fourth attempt, which is also the third-best jump in the world this season. China's Mingkun Zhang took the bronze medal with a jump of 8.08m.

Sreeshankar started with a jump of 8.10m followed by a foul and then 8.12m, 8.11m, and 8.13m. The jumper’s best came in the sixth and final attempt where he jumped 8.37m for his season best. Sreeshankar’s previous best this season was 8.29m at the MVA High-Performance athletics meet in Chula Vista, USA in May.

Watch the video here:

Sreeshankar is the first Indian field athlete to qualify for the Paris Olympics, which will begin on July 26, 2024. The long jumper was eliminated in the group stages in the Tokyo Olympics as he managed to just make the 13th spot.

Earlier, Santhosh Kumar won bronze in the men's 400m hurdles with a personal best time of 49.09 seconds. Santhosh set the quickest time by an Indian this year in the men's 400m hurdles, finishing behind gold medalist Mohammed Hemeida Bassem (48.64 seconds) of Qatar and Yusaku Kodama (48.96 seconds) of Japan.