Murali Sreeshankar pulls out of Diamond League Final in USA, to focus on Asian Games

Star Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar has pulled out of the prestigious Diamond League Final in USA later this month to focus on the Hangzhou Asian Games beginning on September 23.

Sreeshankar made the decision after taking into account that he would need a lot of travel if he has to take part in the September 17 DL Final in Eugene, which may have an impact on his body and disrupt training.

“Sreeshankar is not taking part in the DL Final in Eugene to focus on the Asian Games. Taking part in the DL Final will involve a lot of travel, jet lag etc,” Sreeshankar’s father S Murali told PTI.

Despite finishing fifth in the Zurich leg of the Diamond League on August 31 with a jump of 7.99m, Sreeshankar qualified for the DL Finals in third place on the standings with 14 points.

Sreeshankar, who has a season’s and personal best of 8.41m, had failed to qualify for the finals in the World Championships in Budapest last month.

The 24-year-old had won a silver medal with a jump of 8.37m in the Asian Championships in July.

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On June 9, he had become only the third Indian — after Neeraj Chopra and former discus thrower Vikas Gowda — to finish in the top-three in a Diamond League meeting in Paris, by taking the third spot.

Sreeshankar had finished sixth in the 2018 Asian Games long jump final with an effort of 7.95m.

After the pulling out of Sreeshankar, only Olympic and world champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and 3000m steeplechaser Avinash Sable remain in the fray in the DL Final. Both will compete on September 16.

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