After his record leap of 8.04m in the recently concluded Kerala National Games, Madhya Pradesh athlete Ankit Sharma became the world number one long jumper in senior outdoor category, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) declared.
He is the fifth athlete from India to cross 8m and the first from the state. He won a gold medal in the Kerala Games for his feat.
Talking to HT Ankit said, "It’s a dream come true. Every sportsperson wants to see his or her name on the top. I have started this year with a new record and would try to improve it further by touching 8.16m, the highest in long jump."
Ankit, who hails from Morena district of MP, said, "In our state, especially in Chambal region, there is no dearth of talent. I have seen many talented athletes but without proper facilities they can’t progress."
On the proposed athletics academy by the state government, Sharma said, "The academy can throw open chances for many athletes. I have even talked to the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan about it, but nothing has happened." "The state government neither provides good jobs nor training facilities for athletes," he added.