New Delhi, April 19:Just three months before the start of quadrangular sporting extravaganza, Indian athletics suffered a big blow with ace long jumper Murali Sreeshankar ruling himself out for the entire season, including the Paris  Olympics, after sustaining a knee injury during training.

Sreeshankar shared the news via his social media account.

“All my life, l have had the courage to look at a setback in the eye, accept situations I can't change, and work hard at dictating the outcomes of those I can. Unfortunately, in what feels like a nightmare, but is a reality, my Paris Olympic Games dream is over,”  he wrote.

Sreeshankar had secured a quota for Paris after breaching the men’s long jump Olympic qualifying standard of 8.27m at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand last year. He recorded 8.37m at the meet to claim silver.

In his post, Sreeshankar also informed that he suffered a knee injury during training on Tuesday. After multiple tests and consultations, it’s been decided that he will need surgery, essentially ruling him out for the entire 2024 season.

The 25-year-old Sreeshankar had a fantastic last season.

Besides his silver and quota at the Asian Championships, he also won a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year and achieved his personal best of 8.41m, just 0.1m short of Jeswin Aldrin’s national record, at the Indian Open Jumps Championships.

He also competed at the Budapest World Athletics Championships last year and qualified for the Diamond League Finals in Eugene.

Sreeshankar was expected to start his 2024 campaign with the Shanghai/Suzhou leg of the Diamond League series on April 27 before competing in the Doha leg on May 10.

Despite the blow, Sreeshankar, who also competed at the Tokyo  Olympics, intends to stay positive and vowed to bounce back stronger.

“This road is going to be long, difficult, and will take a lot out of me. The good thing is, I have a lot to give. I will overcome this because that's what Mamba Mentality is all about.

"I will need your prayers, love, and positive energy. I may jump alone, but it takes a collective push before every leap,” Sreeshankar added.


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