An exciting faceoff has been witnessed in the long jump event marked by a fledgling rivalry of 20-year-old Jeswin Aldrin’s determination and Murali Sreeshankar’s expertise.
Aldrin had announced previously that he has been looking to break Murali Sreeshankar’s national record following the megashow at the Indian Grand Prix-1 in March where he had crossed the 8-metre barrier thrice – the best being 8.20m.
At that time, the record solely belonged to Sreeshankar after he had scored a jump of 8.26m at the Federation Cup in Patiala in 2021 that secured his qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 23-year-old Sreeshankar has been a poster boy in the long jump discipline as he remains undisputed among other Indian athletes in the event. But Aldrin’s spirits were to challenge the best and by far he has been delivering spades.
When Sreeshankar and Jeswin had started the season in their finest forms, Muhammed Anees Yahiya was another name to have breached the 8-metre mark this season. And the Federation Cup was the first time in the current season that all the three were locked in a face-off in what became the the biggest draws of the meet.
The long jump final on Sunday shows that the likes of these sportsmen can actually push each other to greater heights. The finals saw Sreeshankar ending the feat by re-writing his own national record by registering an 8.36m effortAs for Jeswin, all of his jumps barring a fault on his fifth one witnessed him cross the 8-metre mark, the best being 8.37m.
Since the wind reading was +4.1m/s for his best personal try, it wasn’t ratified for the national record but his consistency of pushing towards Sreeshankar all the way is highly commendable.
Sreeshankar’s record-breaking jump has helped him qualify for the World Championships alongside Jeswin.
With Sreeshankar only 23 and Jeswin just 20, these two could possibly make a rivalry deep enough to bring out the best in each other.
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