Tejaswin Shankar, who moved court to compete in CWG, wins historic bronze for India in high jump
The 23-year-old high jumper won the nation's first medal in athletics at the Commonwealth games 2022. This after a monbth-long drama surrounding his participation at the Games that saw him missing the opening ceremony as he had reached Birmingham late
Tejaswin Shankar, who was a last-minute addition to the athletics team, on Wednesday became the first Indian to win a men's high jump medal in the Commonwealth Games as he clinched a bronze in the final in Birmingham.
The national record holder cleared 2.22m to finish third on countback. Shankar could not soar over 2.25m in two attempts. He tried to target the silver and aimed for 2.28m in his third and final attempt but failed and settled for bronze.
The last Indian to achieve the best position in men's high jump in Commonwealth Games was Bhim Singh, who cleared 2.06m in the 1970 Edinburgh edition.
An elated Shankar said winning the bronze was like a dream come true considering he had a long (US) collegiate season and that he started jumping only in January.
I am happy to take something back home with me, Shankar said. Hamish Kerr of New Zealand won the gold while Australia's Brandon Starc clinched the silver. Both cleared 2.25m but could not soar over 2.28m. Hamish won the gold on countback.
Stating as spectacular how he was able to share the podium with Hamish Kerr and Brandon Starc, Shankar said that the bronze medal was the first feather in his cap and that he wanted to move forward.
Shankar was cleared to compete at the Commonwealth Games after a month-long drama surrounding his participation.
To note, Shankar was added to the Indian athletics squad on the orders of the Delhi High Court. He has a season's best of 2.27m and a personal best of 2.29m.
Shankar had moved the Delhi High Court after he was ignored for selected for the Games despite achieving the qualifying standard set by the Athletics Federation of India by jumping 2.27m at the NCAA Championships in the USA, where he is studying.
The national federation later told the High Court that Shankar had been included as a replacement for 4x400m relay team member Arokia Rajiv, who was named in the original squad. The AFI requested the Indian Olympic Association to increase its quota to include more athletes. The IOA, in turn, requested the CWG organisers.
The organisers had initially rejected Shankar's late entry, but the IOA later got confirmation from the Birmingham CWG organisers and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) about acceptance of his entry after a Delegate Registration Meeting (DRM).