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World Athletics: Long jumper M Sreeshankar qualify for finals

- July 16, 2022

Eugene (Oregon), July 16 (BPNS) 

Two of India’s top medal prospects at the World Athletics Championships 2022 here, 3000m steeplechaser Avinash Sable and long jumper M Sreeshankar, qualified for the finals in their respective categories, raising hopes of bringing home elusive medals from the global competition.

Sable finished third in his heat, clocking 8:18.75 to make the cut for the men’s 3000m steeplechase final, while in men’s long jump at Hayward Field, Sreeshankar was the only Indian among the three to qualify for the final, which will be held later on Saturday, according to Olympics.com.

Sreeshankar also became the first male long jumper from the country to advance to final.

Sable was way off his personal best of 8:12.48 — a national record — but he made it to the final, where the top three from each of the three heats along with the next six fastest make the cut. The final will be held on Monday.

Sable was seventh fastest overall among the 15 qualifiers, which was led by 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, who timed 8:16.65. Sable had also made it to the 2019 World Championships finals in Doha but had finished 13th in 8:21.37.

The others who made the cut in the gruelling race included defending champion Conseslus Kipruto (Kenya) and Lamecha Girma (Ethiopia, runner-up in the last edition. Commonwealth Games medallist Abraham Kibiwot of Kenya and Olympic medallist Evan Jager of the USA also made the final cut.

Sreeshankar, the national record holder in long jump, made it to the final with a jump of 7.86 metres. The Indian logged two successful attempts, with his second valid jump of 7.86 metres earning him a place in the final, while the second one — 8.0 metres — was a foul.

The qualification criterion for long jump is athletes achieving the cut of 8.15 metres or the top 12 performers from the two groups. Only two athletes met the standard with Japan’s Yuki Hashioka leading the pack with a jump of 8.18 metres.

India’s Jeswin Aldrin had one successful attempt from his three, his valid leap measuring 7.79. Muhammed Anees Yahiya managed a best of 7.73m from his three attempts. Aldrin finished 20th while Anees Yahiya was 23rd overall in the 32-man field.

Earlier, Indian race walker Priyanka Goswami finished a dismal 34th in a field of 41 in the women’s 20km race walk, clocking 1:39:42. She holds the national record in the event at 1:28:45, set in Ranchi last year.

In the men’s 20km race walk, 36-year-old Sandeep Kumar (1:31:58) finished 40th among 45 athletes who started. Sandeep too holds the national record, with the athlete setting a time of 1:20:16 in Ranchi last year.

Shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, withdrew from the event due to an injury.