KOCHI: Five medals, four of them gold, over a two-week stint in Europe! But that was not enough to make M Sreeshankar go viral on social media. But the 20-year-old is fine with flying under the radar because he feels medals aren’t a priority right now. “It is 100 per cent true that we should not read too much into the performances,” Sreeshankar said. “Hima won five golds. I won four golds and one silver, but it is the performance that matters and not the medals. The level of competition was very low where I competed and in those meets.”
“The biggest benefit that I got out of these meets was not the medals but improving my rankings. I have jumped from 46 to 21 in the world rankings,” he added. Sreeshankar even secured his season’s best mark of 7.97m at the Tatyana Kolpakova international athletics meet at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.But the big disappointment for the national record holder was his failure to meet the Olympic qualification mark of 8.22m.
“It was a golden opportunity to achieve the Olympic qualification mark there. My body was in really good condition and I was in good form. But the track was in a very bad condition. Still, I was in excellent shape and qualification was very much achievable. Unfortunately, four of my jumps were fouls and if I had got them right, they were all 8m plus jumps,” he said.
Next up is the National Inter-State Athletics Championships to be held in Lucknow next month. “Back in January, before my injury, I was on a high and enjoying really good form. I was hoping for some big jumps but all of a sudden got injured and couldn’t train at all. I have recovered but to return to 100 per cent, it will take some time. But I am getting there.
My bodyweight has increased, food is being properly regulated after having some problems adjusting in Europe and body is responding well,” the JSW Sports athlete said.After a good start to the season, securing a Tokyo 2020 Olympic ticket has become his obsession. “I am confident that I can secure qualification during the Inter-State meet. It is my top-most priority right now and I am feeling good”.