Tokyo-bound Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar feels that the mental aspect will play a key role at the Olympics and he is working on how to perform well in spite of the pressure. The Kerala-based athlete is optimistic of participating in a few competitions in Asia ahead of the Olympics,
Murali Sreeshankar qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by breaking his own national record with a jump of 8.26m at the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships in Patiala, in March, earlier this year. However, the Olympics is a different ball game altogether and is the 22-year is gearing up in the best possible way for the event. Currently, he is working on his shortcomings under the supervision of his father at the Government Medical College ground, in Palakkad, Kerala.
"Immediately after Federation Cup, we listed/pointed out all my drawbacks, in the sense what are the technicalities I am lagging behind. We coordinated everything and we are working on that," said Murali Sreeshankar, during a virtual press conference organised by SAI (Sports Authority of India).
Another concern that remains is the lack of competition ahead of the Olympics, with the travel restrictions already playing spoilsport. However, he is still optimistic of taking part in a few Asian meets, even though travelling to Europe is looking like a distant possibility at the moment.
"Everything is looking fine. Only concern is since travel restrictions are imposed on Indian athletes, we are not able to compete and train abroad. It's a big challenge and I will face it and overcome it," added the athlete.
But, according to him, the mental aspect will play a key role at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and he is working on how to perform well in spite of the pressure. The men’s long event at the Games will kick-start with the qualification round on July 31.
"Mental aspect will be important, there will be mental pressure, but I am finding out a way to perform (well). I have to be strong in mental aspect to be at (my) best at Tokyo," asserted the Tokyo-bound long jumper.