High jumper Tejaswin Shankar has been included in India’s squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the Athletics Federation of India told the Delhi High Court regarding the change, reported Sportstar.
Shankar will replace 4x400m relay member Arokia Rajiv in the CWG squad who, the AFI said, has been disqualified on fitness accounts.
Taking to Twitter, Shankar said: ”Big Thanks to the twitter fam. Last 3 weeks have been a sleepless roller coaster & to finally get an opportunity to rep India at CWG 2022 is nothing short of a blessing. I have received lots of love but my heart goes out to mates who were equally deserving & missed.”
Update: Statement from Athletics Federation of India
AFI has replaced Arokia Rajiv with Tejaswin Shankar in the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham from July 28.
“We have requested the Indian Olympic Association to replace Arokia Rajiv, who withdrew from the National Inter-State Athletics Championships due to illness, with Tejaswin Shankar,” AFI President Adille J. Sumariwalla said. “We continue to request IOA to increase the quota for athletics so that others who have met the qualifying standards can also compete in CWG.”
Shankar’s counsel Malak Bhatt told Sportstar, “The AFI made a statement that Arokia Rajiv (4x400m relay) has been disqualified and Tejaswin Shankar has been included in the 36-member contingent. The Court has directed AFI to send the same forthwith to the IOA and the IOA has been directed to immediately reach out to CWG authorities and intimate about Tejaswin’s inclusion.”
But it remains to be seen what the next step is as Shankar’s inclusion is still subject to approval from the CWG committee which had set June 29 as the last date of submission, as per a report on Firstpost.
Shankar, the national record holder, had taken the AFI to court after the athletics body left him out of the CWG squad despite making the cut-off mark set by the federation.
AFI president Adille Sumariwalla justified the decision saying that Shankar had not requested to be exempted from the Inter State meet, which doubled up as trials for the CWG, and had also not asked for permission to compete in the US. In the US event, the high-jumper had cleared 2.27m, just short of the national record of 2.29m.
The Delhi High Court is also expected to hear the case on August 25 to address the issues which were raised regarding the discrepancies in AFI’s selection process to avoid ‘national embarrassment’ in the future.