It was not the best of starts for India as long jumper M Sreeshankar failed to reach the final after a disappointing performance while 400m hurdler M P Jabir made the cut for the semifinals on the Day 1 of the World Athletics Championships on Friday. National record holder in 400m hurdles, Dharun Ayyasamy tumbled after the last hurdle in his heat to fail to qualify for the semifinals. The 20-year-old Sreeshankar could only produce a best jump of 7.62m from his three attempts in the qualification B to finish 22nd overall. His effort was well below his season’s best of 8.00m, which he had produced only last month in Patiala.

Later in the day, Jabir finished third in the heat number one and 11th overall in men’s 400m hurdle with a time of 49.62 seconds to qualify for the semifinals to be held on Saturday. He has a season’s and personal best of 49.13. Ayyasamy could only clock 50.55 as he lost precious time after hitting the final hurdle. He finished sixth in heat number five and 27th overall to miss out of the semifinals.

Ayyasamy, who had recovered from an injury recently, has a personal and season’s best of 48.80. The first four in each of the five heats and the next four fastest qualify for the 400m hurdles semifinals. The first Indian to take the field on Friday was Sreeshankar, who has a personal best and national record of 8.20m. He began with a 7.52m before clearing 7.62m. He then fouled his third and final jump to end his campaign in disappointment.

The automatic mark for the finals was set at 8.15m but only one jumper could touch it. The 11 other best performers went through to the finals with the least distance making the cut was 7.89m. Sreeshankar’s 7.62m effort here was his second-worst this season. He had 7.53m in the qualifying round of the National Inter-State Championships in Lucknow last month.

This season, he has been consistent around 7.80m with three jumps in the 7.90s, besides the 8.00m in Patiala on August 16. Sreeshankar was, however, placed second last in terms of the season’s best among the 27 jumpers who took part in the qualification round.

(With PTI inputs)