CWG 2018

CWG 2018 athletics: High jumper Tejaswin Shankar finishes 6th, Hima Das records new personal best

High jumper Shankar was considered a medal prospect but he couldn’t end up on the podium.

India continued their search for a medal from athletics in the 21st Commonwealth Games with high jumper Tejaswin Shankar and quartermiler Hima Das both finishing sixth in their respective events in Gold Coast on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old national record holder Tejaswin could not clear 2.27m in three attempts to be out of contention for a podium finish. He had leaped 2.28m while winning the gold in the Federation Cup National Championships last month but on the day of the final he was not in his element.

Tejaswin started with 2.18m which he cleared in his second attempt and sailed the 2.21m-high bar comfortably. He then cleared 2.24m in his first attempt but stuck at 2.27m to the disappointment of the Indian athletics contingent.

“This is the first time I started with 2.18. Generally I start with 2.10 but then now I know that I have to practice at higher heights. That’s how it works in finals. 2.18 looked really good and I thought I was doing really well,” Tejaswin, who is now based out of USA, said after his event.

“Trying to clear 2.27m, somewhere I lost the rhythm. The first two attempts were really bad but then I tried to put everything together for the last attempt but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t my day.”

He said he will have to clear 2.30m to have any chance of winning a medal in such competitions events.

“I am pretty sure that I will do that (clearing 2.30m) this year. The biggest positive is I could hold my nerve against these big competitors – the Olympic and Commonwealth medallists. I realised they are people like me, they are not gods.”

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc’s brother Brandon won the gold with a personal best effort of 2.32m while Jamal Wilson (2.30m) of Bahamas and Django Lovett (2.30m) of Canada took the silver and bronze respectively.

In the women’s 400m finals, Hima Das ran yet another personal best of 51.32 seconds, finishing 6th. The 18-year-old Indian had clocked 51.53 seconds, her personal best before today, in the semifinals on Tuesday.

Hima clocked the same time as fifth place Maximila Imali of Kenya but the Indian was given sixth place in a photo finish.

Botswana’s Amantle Montsho took the gold in 50.14 seconds while the Jamaican duo of Anastasia Le-Roy (50.57) and Stephenie McPherson (50.93).

In the women’s long jump, Nayana James and Neena Varakil made it to the finals after finishing ninth and 12th respectively overall in the qualification round.

Nayana cleared 6.34m in her second attempt to finish fourth in Group B while Neena had a best effort of 6.24 to end at sixth in Group A.

Those who clear 6.60m or at least 12 best performers advance to the final. In the qualification round, only four competitors got past 6.60m.

Nayana has a season’s best of 6.51m which she achieved at the Federation Cup National Championships where she won a gold last month while Neena has a season’s best of 6.42m which she managed during the Asian Games test event in Jakarta in February.

The 2015 World Championships silver medallist Shara Proctor of England qualified for the finals on the top of the heap with a best effort of 6.89m while current world season leader Christabel Nettey of Canada was second with 6.79m.

The women’s long jump final will be held on Thursday.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Do you really need to use that plastic straw?

The hazards of single-use plastic items, and what to use instead.

In June 2018, a distressed whale in Thailand made headlines around the world. After an autopsy it’s cause of death was determined to be more than 80 plastic bags it had ingested. The pictures caused great concern and brought into focus the urgency of the fight against single-use plastic. This term refers to use-and-throw plastic products that are designed for one-time use, such as takeaway spoons and forks, polythene bags styrofoam cups etc. In its report on single-use plastics, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has described how single-use plastics have a far-reaching impact in the environment.

Dense quantity of plastic litter means sights such as the distressed whale in Thailand aren’t uncommon. Plastic products have been found in the airways and stomachs of hundreds of marine and land species. Plastic bags, especially, confuse turtles who mistake them for jellyfish - their food. They can even exacerbate health crises, such as a malarial outbreak, by clogging sewers and creating ideal conditions for vector-borne diseases to thrive. In 1988, poor drainage made worse by plastic clogging contributed to the devastating Bangladesh floods in which two-thirds of the country was submerged.

Plastic litter can, moreover, cause physiological harm. Burning plastic waste for cooking fuel and in open air pits releases harmful gases in the air, contributing to poor air quality especially in poorer countries where these practices are common. But plastic needn’t even be burned to cause physiological harm. The toxic chemical additives in the manufacturing process of plastics remain in animal tissue, which is then consumed by humans. These highly toxic and carcinogenic substances (benzene, styrene etc.) can cause damage to nervous systems, lungs and reproductive organs.

The European Commission recently released a list of top 10 single-use plastic items that it plans to ban in the near future. These items are ubiquitous as trash across the world’s beaches, even the pristine, seemingly untouched ones. Some of them, such as styrofoam cups, take up to a 1,000 years to photodegrade (the breakdown of substances by exposure to UV and infrared rays from sunlight), disintegrating into microplastics, another health hazard.

More than 60 countries have introduced levies and bans to discourage the use of single-use plastics. Morocco and Rwanda have emerged as inspiring success stories of such policies. Rwanda, in fact, is now among the cleanest countries on Earth. In India, Maharashtra became the 18th state to effect a ban on disposable plastic items in March 2018. Now India plans to replicate the decision on a national level, aiming to eliminate single-use plastics entirely by 2022. While government efforts are important to encourage industries to redesign their production methods, individuals too can take steps to minimise their consumption, and littering, of single-use plastics. Most of these actions are low on effort, but can cause a significant reduction in plastic waste in the environment, if the return of Olive Ridley turtles to a Mumbai beach are anything to go by.

To know more about the single-use plastics problem, visit Planet or Plastic portal, National Geographic’s multi-year effort to raise awareness about the global plastic trash crisis. From microplastics in cosmetics to haunting art on plastic pollution, Planet or Plastic is a comprehensive resource on the problem. You can take the pledge to reduce your use of single-use plastics, here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic, and not by the Scroll editorial team.