Long jumper Murli Sreeshankar on Tuesday qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by bettering his own national record with a leap of 8.26m on the second day of the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships here. The Olympics qualification mark in men’s long jump event is 8.22m. The 21-year-old Kerala athlete’s 8.26m jump came in his fifth attempt as he improved his earlier national record of 8.20m which he had registered in 2018.
He began with a 8.02m jump before improving to 8.04m, 8.07m and 8.09m in his next three jumps before touching 8.26m in his fifth attempt. He had a no mark (NM) in his final jump. Another Kerala jumper Muhammed Anees Yahiya (8m) and S Lokesh (7.60m) of Karnataka took the silver and bronze respectively. Five race walkers (KT Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohilla in men’s 20km event and Bhawana Jat and Priyanka Goswami in women’s 20km event), two javelin throwers (Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh), Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase) and the mixed 4x400m relay team have earlier qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.