Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], September 28 (ANI): Murali Sreeshankar, the Indian long jumper who won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, thinks it will be difficult to win the gold medal at the National Games in 2022, especially since Jeswin Aldrin and Mohammed Anees Yahiya will also be competing.
Murali Sreeshankar has bettered his own national record thrice this season and has a personal best of 8.36m he achieved at the Federation Cup in April.
However, Jeswin Aldrin and Mohammed Anees Yahiya have also crossed the 8m mark multiple times this year and Sreeshankar reckons that the men's long jump competition at the National Games this year will be nothing short of world-class.
"You know the kind of standards we have in India right now. We have three long jumpers consistently jumping over 8.15m and other jumpers are also improving," Murali Sreeshankar said during a media interaction.
"We have to think of every national championship as a world-level championship or a Diamond League as it is no cakewalk," he added.
Sreeshankar started the 2022 season and ranked over 60 in the World Athletics rankings. After impressive performances at the world championships and Commonwealth Games 2022, the athlete from Kerala is currently ranked sixth in the world.
Coached by his father S Murali, the 23-year-old Sreeshankar will represent his home state of Kerala and wants to finish the season on a high.
"If I do so, I will be able to set in motion a few plans for the 2023 season that will be crucial to my preparations for the World Championships and Asian Games," he noted.
It will also be Sreeshankar's first National Games and his first competition in Gujarat.
"I am very excited about participating in the National Games for the first time and I'm looking forward to the same kind of atmosphere (we had in 2015 Kerala). It's also the first time I will be competing in Gujarat," Sreeshankar said. (ANI)