Netizens were left fuming after India missed out on a gold medal in long jump at the 2022 Commonwealth Games as a laser-equipped take-off board twice flagged Murali Sreeshankar by extremely narrow margins for crossing the line and committing a foul.
Earlier, the take-off board was monitored manually with an official sitting close to the board and raising a red or white flag to declare whether a jumper had transgressed the line and committed a foul or electronically.
With titles decided by a margin of centimetres, overstepping the line could turn out to be an advantage, World Athletics has recently introduced a digital take-off board in which a laser beam acts like the take-off line.
Thus interrupting or breaking that laser beam could result in the jumper’s effort being declared a foul.
On Thursday, two of Murali Sreeshankar’s jumps were adjudged fouls by this new system with even the athlete himself surprised by the margin by which he was shown to have crossed the line — especially on his fourth jump.
“I was very surprised by the narrow margin by which I was shown to have crossed the line. It was too small a magin,” said Sreeshankar. According to the system, Sreeshankar’s toe was a millimetre across the line and his jump, which would have been in the range of 8.30, was declared illegal.
Similarly, his effort on his sixth and last jump too was flagged as illegal by a narrow margin, and the 23-year-old Indian athlete was denied a gold medal as he needed an effort of more than 7.94 to overtake his opponent from the Bahamas on the second jump to win the gold.
The whole episode left Twitterati questioning the decision
Here a few reactions
And to all the doubts surrounding Sreeshankar..please have a look at this image..You can clearly see that he’s behind the black plasticine foul line..and a small amount of white take off board is visible..Firmly believe technology was wrong here..(n/n)https://t.co/CSWDNPEio0
— Vishank Razdan (@VishankRazdan) August 5, 2022
The final attempt
Still silver goes to the Indian Murali Sreeshankar✌️✌️✌️
Damn close to gold a bit unlucky to get that forth attempt a foul otherwise it was gold#MuraliSreeshankar #longjump #msreeshankar #CWG2022 #CWG22 pic.twitter.com/wIU7m4l6I7
— MrSportsSingh (@MrCricketSingh1) August 4, 2022
Since it’s being decided by technology and not on human eyes so not much to argue but in naked eye this doesn’t look foul to me. Murali Sreeshankar who is having average jumps so far got his best jump fouled pic.twitter.com/UZqemDmA6C
— Sayan (@Tweets_by_Sayan) August 4, 2022