Down with knee injury, Sreeshankar ruled out of Olympics, to undergo surgery

Ace Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar has been ruled out of Paris Olympics after sustaining a knee injury during training that would require a surgery, which will also see him miss the entire 2024 season.
Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar
Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar

New Delhi | Ace Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar has been ruled out of Paris Olympics after sustaining a knee injury during training that would require a surgery, which will also see him miss the entire 2024 season.

Sreeshankar, an Asian Games and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, had made the cut for the Paris Olympics after recording an 8.37m jump en route to a silver medal at the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships.

The 25-year-old was slated to begin his season with back-to-back Diamond League Meetings in Shanghai/Suzhou and Doha on April 27 and May 10 receptively. But he sustained an injury during training on Tuesday, ending his Olympic dream.

"Unfortunately, in what feels like a nightmare, but is a reality, my Paris Olympics dream is over," Sreeshankar said in a social media post.

"I suffered a knee injury during training on Tuesday, and all the tests and consultations later, it's been decided that I would need surgery, ruling me out of the one single thing I've chased relentlessly all these years.

"All my life, I 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," he added.

In June last year, Sreeshankar had become only the third Indian to finish in the top three in a Diamond League Meeting with a third-place finish.

He, however, disappointed with a qualifying round exit in the World championships at Budapest but came back strongly to win the Asian Games silver at Huangzhou.

"Life writes strange scripts, and some times there is courage in accepting it and moving on. That's what I will do.

"My journey to a comeback began the minute I injured my knee. The road is going to be long, difficult and will take a lot out of me.

"The good thing is, I've a lot to give. I will overcome this, because that's what Mamba Mentality is all about," said Sreeshankar, who idolises basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

The term "Mamba Mentality" refers to the mindset and positive approach to life and competition epitomised by the Los Angeles Lakers star.

"I will need your prayers, love and positive energy. I may jump alone, but it takes a collective push before every leap. This is my biggest one yet," he signed off.

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