Waiting for qualification is quite ‘painful’ for Long jumper Murali Sreeshankar

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National record-holding long jumper Murali Sreeshankar has said in an interview with Press Trust Of India (PTI) that he is going through a “painful wait” to get another chance at The Olympic qualifications process after the Novel Coronavirus pandemic got between him and his plans.

Interacting from his home in Palakkad, Sreeshankar told, “I went all the way from Kerala to Patiala for the Indian GP 1 but the evening before the event, it got cancelled. It was disappointing but I was fortunate in a way that I could get back home just in time before the lockdown and cancellation of all domestic flights.”

Reportedly, the Federation Cup Senior National Championships (an Olympic qualifying event) was also postponed too due to the ongoing health crisis which has been the soul reason for the death of more than 400 people in India.

With the qualification period suspended till November by now, Sreeshankar asserted that he feels very much disarray.

“The whole season is over now and the qualification period begins only in December. There will not be much activity in the winter season and we have to start in February-March next year. It will be a long and painful wait,” he said.

“I was in very good shape and form and was looking to clear 8.22m in the Indian GP in the first leg itself. But now I don’t know what will happen next year. I have to start from scratch, it will be very challenging,” he further added.

Sreeshankar is hopefull for some action to resume later this year to build the momentum for the coming year’s global event, As The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is planning to hold National Championships in September if the situation gets better once.

“Because of the lockdown, I am not doing anything except for some workout on the terrace of my house. The jumping pit near my place, where I used to train, has been out of reach…,” he said.

“Now I am not thinking about any training but about when this pandemic will be controlled or some vaccine is available. The situation is fluid, don’t know what will happen after the lockdown is lifted. When training will begin and whether we will have this disease at the back of our mind even then. It is very confusing and uncertain,” he further added.

When Asked about what keeps him occupied during this lockdown, Sreeshankar said, “I watch some movies on Netflix, I listen to music and read my BSc. Honours books and surf internet.”

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