Long jumper Murali Sreeshankar failed to live up to expectations, finishing seventh in the finals with a best effort of 7.96 metres on the second day of competition at the World Athletics Championships, in Eugene, on Saturday.
Having become the first Indian male athlete to qualify for the long jump finals in the World Championships, the Indian raised hopes of a historic medal in the showpiece event, but his performance in the finals was way below his season's and personal best of 8.36m.
He had three legal jumps -- the opening jump of 7.96m, fourth round effort of 7.89m and last attempt of 7.83m. The other three tries were fouls.
The 23-year-old will be disappointed, as he could not cross the 8m mark in six attempts. He qualified for the finals with a best jump of exactly 8m in the qualification round on Friday, finishing second in Group B and seventh overall.
Sreeshankar had gone into the championships in joint-second spot in the season's top list on the basis of his National record 8.36m jump.
China's Jianan Wang won the gold with a sensational final round jump of 8.36m while Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, who was leading till the penultimate round, won the silver with a best effort of 8.30m. Season leader Simon Ehammer (8.16m) of Switzerland took the bronze.
Sreeshankar's father and coach S Murali said it was sheer bad luck that his son could not at least clear more than 8.16 metres, which would have given him a bronze.
"Sreeshankar was confident to do well today but it was sheer bad luck. Jumping more than 8.16 metres was within his reach and he has done it many times this season," Murali said.
"The third jump turned out to be a foul by just 3mm and had it been a legal one, Sreeshankar would have crossed at least 8.16m and won a medal. But we have to look ahead with this World Championships experience and do well in the Commonwealth Games."
In other events involving Indians, Parul Chaudhary ran her personal best of 9:38.09s in the women's 3000m steeplechase to finish 12th in heat No. 2 and missed out on the finals. She finished 31st overall.
The top three finishers and the next six fastest across the three heats qualified for the finals.
Chaudhary's earlier personal best was the 9:38.29s, clocked during the Indian Grand Prix series in Thiruvanthapuram in March.
In the men's 400m hurdles, Madari Palliyalil Jabir also failed to advance to the semi-finals after finishing seventh and last in heat No. 2 with a time of 50.76s.
He finished 31st overall across five heats.
The top four finishers and the next four fastest across the five heats qualified for the semi-finals.
He recorded a season's best of 49.76s while winning gold at the National Inter-State Championships last month. He has a personal best of 49.13s.