From life-threatening appendicitis to CWG silver, the ‘comeback journey has been really tough’ for long-jumper Murali Sreeshankar | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

NEW DELHI: He was only able to sleep three hours after his historic silver medal feat in birmingham. He didn’t have time to talk to his mother at length until the next day. But no one in this family of athletes from the Palakkad district of Kerala is complaining. Murali Sreeshankarthe young home Olympian, had won his first and the country’s first Commonwealth Games (CWG) medal in long jump men.
“We have all been waiting for this medal for a very long time.” When Sreeshankar mentioned “all”, he specifically meant his father and coach, Murali Sivashankar, a former triple jumper, and his mother KS Bijimol, who is a former international 800m runner.
“I finished seventh at the World Indoors, several times sixth at the Asian Games and at the World Junior Championships. So that really means a lot to me,” he said, speaking to by telephone from Birmingham.
Had it not been for a controversial foul called on Sreeshankar’s fourth-round jump, he would have worn gold instead of silver.
That jump looked close to the 8.20m mark, as Sreeshankar nervously waited to hear if the attempt was legal. It was ruled a foul, and the margin was so small, even looking legal in footage that circulated on social media soon after.


(Image credit: Twitter)
“I felt really good (about the fourth jump). The whole team was excited about that jump. But when it was declared invalid, we were like, ‘oh shit,'” he recalled. “It was called a foul by the smallest of margins you could imagine, but there’s no point in saying it now. I’m glad I was able to make a good jump on lap five and be on the podium.”
On his fifth attempt, Sreeshankar equaled the mark of 8.08m recorded by Laquan Nairn of the Bahamas. The final ended with both men on the same mark, meaning Sreeshankar was pushed into second place on the countdown. Sreeshankar’s second best jump in the series was 7.84m, while Nairn’s second best distance was 7.98m.
But the Indian is not in complaint mode, be it luck or the change of rules and the introduction of technology by World Athletics last year, it may have robbed him of a gold medal.
“I’ve been out a lot of times (on the international stage),” said the 23-year-old national record holder. “Tokyo (Olympic Games) didn’t go as planned. If you ask me, I never had any special achievement to show myself or other people. But now I’m happy to to have at least one medal and I can say that I worked hard all these years for that,” he said.

For the benefit of sports fans, Sreeshankar went on to explain the rule change that left many athletes unhappy.
“Previously, the foul board was angled 45 degrees from the take-off board. The playdough was at a particular height above the take-off board,” Sreeshankar said.
A layer of modeling clay was placed just after the take-off board to detect if, at the take-off point, any part of the competitor’s foot touched the foul line.
“But now the take-off board and the foul board are at the same height and there is a horizontal plane between the two,” he continued. “So instead of 45 degrees there is a 90 degree plane. So if you have a perfect jump with no centimeters to spare and the foot crosses the horizontal plane, then it is considered a fault. is how the new rule is. It caused a lot of problems for a lot of athletes.
“Even the measurement is not done with tape anymore, it is a photographic measurement. The distance is automatically displayed on the screen once we have completed the jump,” he added.

Rolling back the years to 2018, Sreeshankar couldn’t have turned the tide better after surviving life-threatening appendicitis, so much so that he broke the national record the same year after missing the Gold Coast CWG in order to recover.
“That moment was crucial,” recalls Sreeshankar.
“I never thought it could be this serious. If the appendix bursts inside the stomach, there is a high chance that a person will die from the potential infection of appendicitis. ruptured can cause. It wasn’t until after the operation that I realized it was quite a serious thing.
“The return trip was very difficult, of course. I had to miss the CWG (2018). Due to the infection and poisoning, I suffered a lot and had to endure a lot of pain. Eventually I was able to break the national record (8.20m) that year,” he added.
Sreeshankar has since improved his national record twice, jumping 8.26m in 2021 to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then improving to 8.36m in 2022.
And now he has a CWG silver medal proudly sitting proudly on his chest.

“I would like to take it as a stepping stone or a humble start for a lot more to achieve. I will definitely try to build on the momentum I had here for the important tournaments and eventually towards the Paris Olympics (in 2024). ”
From Birmingham, Sreeshankar will travel straight to Monaco for the Diamond League, but he has no goals in mind, especially in terms of achieving any particular mark on the sandbox.
“In terms of distance, I haven’t set any kind of specific target. What I’m looking for is to maintain consistency.”

Leave a Comment