At the end of a journey to the Commonwealth Games that involved him going to court against the national federation, Tejaswin Shankar found the sliver lining as he became the first high jumper from the country ever to win a medal at this quadrennial event.
On Wednesday night at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, the 23-year-old lept over the bar placed 2.22m above the ground to secure a bronze medal.
Shankar – despite clearing the benchmark for CWG selection in the US collegiate circuit – had originally been left out of India’s Commonwealth Games squad for not competing at the National Inter-State Championships in June, seen as the selection meet. The youngster challenged the Athletics Federation of India’s decision, and the Delhi High Court was in favour of the athlete.
However, organisers in Birmingham did not allow such a late entry to take place, but later rescinded that decision.
All that struggle was put behind as the national record holder (2.29m) won his first Games medal.
He came behind only gold medal winner from New Zealand Hamish Kerr and silver medallist from Australia Brandon Starc’s 2.25m clearance - the latter had failed to clear the bar in his first attempt at lower heights, thus falling into second place.
Defending champion Starc, brother of Australia cricketer Mitchell Starc, was in serious trouble at the early heights but managed to get better as the event went on.
Shankar started the event at 2.10 and registered clean jumps at 2.10, 2.15, 2.19, 2.22. At that point only the Indian and gold medallist Hamish Kerr had a clean slate.
Tejaswin's long jump results in 2022
|30 APR 2022
|Texas Tech Corky/Crofoot Shootout, Terry & Linda Fuller T&F Complex, Lubbock, TX
|13 MAY 2022
|Big 12 Conference Ch., Terry & Linda Fuller T&F Complex, Lubbock, TX - Combined Events
|27 MAY 2022
|NCAA West Preliminary Round, John McDonnell Field, Fayetteville, AR
|10 JUN 2022
|NCAA Div. I Outdoor Championships, Hayward Field, Eugene, OR
|03 AUG 2022
|XXII Commonwealth Games, Alexander Stadium, Birmingham