High jumper Tejaswin Shankar has conveyed his inability to compete in the World Championships to be held in Doha from September 27, the Athletics Federation of India said on Tuesday.
The US-based Shankar told the athletics body that he was in his off-season and not in jumping shape yet, and hence declined to compete in Doha.
Though he missed the qualifying standard (2.30m) by two centimeters, the 20-year-old Delhi athlete made the grade by virtue of being among the IAAF Top Performance List, as he is ranked 39th in the world.
The World Championships can have a maximum of 32 competitors in high jump. “We would have liked him to compete in Doha and gain the experience of the big stage, but we respect his decision to decline the invitation,” said AFI President Adille Sumariwalla.
“We hope he will train hard and remain injury-free and be a part of the Indian squad in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year,”
The AFI on Monday named a 25-member team with the provision that the likes of Shankar and 100m sprinter Dutee Chand, who did not meet the qualification mark but are within the required number of competitors for their events, would be added later after confirmation from the international body.
AFI sources had, however, said that Tejaswin would be asked to come to India and undergo a trial if he wants to take part in the World Championships. “If the IAAF sends an invite for Tejaswin, we will ask him to at least jump 2.25m if not the World Championships qualification standard of 2.30m,” an official had said.
The personal best for Tejaswin is 2.29m, which is also the existing national record.