Long jumper Sreeshankar looks to better his national record at World Championships
He might not have had a memorable outing in Tokyo 2020 but the Long Jump national record holder has plans in place
Olympian Murali Sreeshankar is confident that he would perform at his best in the coming World Athletics Championship at Eugene in Oregon, USA, next month and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham a fortnight later. He might not have had a memorable outing in Tokyo 2020 but the Long Jump national record holder has plans in place.
"We have to adjust with pressure. The Tokyo Olympics experience has been invaluable. In Doha 2019, I also had a similar experience. But I have recovered mentally and physically now," Sreeshankar told a media interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India on Tuesday. "In March at an indoor championship in Belgrade, I had decent result. Step by step I am getting better. The field is also more familiar to me and the Tokyo experience will help me in performing at a bigger level," he added.
He said he re-evaluated his body and sat with his father and coach S Muralidaran to formulate a training program. Speaking about his mental recovery, Sreeshankar said he has had support of a psychologist from the Sports Authority of India. "She has been helping me since the Olympic season," he said. "All setbacks have made me mentally tough, but I thank SAI and Target Olympic Podium Scheme to do everything to help me recover. Tough times make tough people. I used to feel perplex, but now I am taking everything in a cool and calm manner, because I am aware of my abilities," he added.
Sreeshankar said he is looking to better his persnal best (8.36m - also the national record). "I certainly want to achieve that is in the World Championship. I am confident I will do my best. Competition will be high. I am really optimistic of a medal chance. If I get the rhythm perfectly, I'm sure I will certainly get the big distance." "I am also eagerly looking forward to competing with Muhammad Anees Yahiya and Jeswin Aldrin at the World Championships. With God's grace, all three of us will qualify for the final in Oregon. That's our ultimate aim. Then, in the final on July 16, we all will be fighting for our medals," Sreeshankar said.
Showing gratitude to Olympic Games Javelin Throw gold medallist Neeraj Chopra and India hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Sreeshankar said, "Neeraj bhaiya's gold has made a huge impact on Indian athletes. It made us believe we too are capable of good performances in the big events and find our names at the top if we work in the right direction." "Neeraj bhaiya and I shared a room during the Tokyo Olympics. He motivated and supported me after my poor result. He told me that I still have time and I should keep working hard. 'Bhai, I believe in you' he told me. It felt great coming from someone like him. After speaking to him and Sreejesh, I got the power to keep going," the Long Jumper said.
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