Murali Sreeshankar Kerala long jumper New National record at National Open Athletics Championships

Murali Sreeshankar sets new national long jump record at 8.20m mark.

Murali Sreeshankar is bound to be happy. With a leap of 8.20m at the National Open Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, the 19-year-old long-jumper from Kerala set a new national record.

He, however, would have been happier if this feat was achieved during the Jakarta Asiad in August this year. He’d have returned with a silver at least, instead he ended up in sixth position with 7.95m.

Although, the Kerala lad was eyeing to join the 8-metre club in Asian Games itself, his dream may have realized a little later than not. With age on his side, Sreeshankar would now be looking to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In March 2018, he came close to breaking the 8-metre barrier with a leap of 7.99m. With his father Murali an international triple jumper and mother Bijimol an 800m middledistance runner, athletics was natural choice.

The second-year engineering student from Palakkad district of Kerala, Sreeshankar wanted to be sprinter. He even tried it for some time before, he switched to long jump at 13. Although he draws inspiration from his father, he decided to carve his own niche.
“Triple jump is very technical sport and if something goes wrong, injuries follow. It is an injury-prone discipline. In my career, I have suffered so many injuries,” Sreeshankar’s father-cum-coach Murali had told a newspaper.

Although, Sreeshankar likes to be active on social media, he was barred from Facebook and WhatsApp before he had turned 18. Even at home, the family strictly follows the ‘no television at 11pm’ rule.

It’s not just athletics where Sreeshankar has set a mark, he excels even in studies. He’s found a balance between studies and athletics and is always in race to top the class. Murali is proud that his son ended up scoring over 95% in 10th and 12th grade.
Murali believes in being strong in both the sport and academics.

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