Tejaswin Shankar rose to prominence after becoming the first Indian to clinch a medal in the high jump at the Commonwealth Games.
India’s Tejaswin Shankar pulled off a sensational victory at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 2023, with a jump of 2.26 m. This was the second World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting that took place in Boston, United States on Saturday night. Tejaswin put on a flawless performance, clearing 2.14 meters, 2.19 meters, 2.23 meters, and 2.26 meters on his first attempts. In a star-studded field comprising Noah Lyles, Shericka Jackson, Sydney McLaughlin, Trayvon Bromell, Laura Muir, Grant Holloway, and so on, Tejaswin didn’t let himself get affected and went on to execute a flawless performance in the men’s high jump in Boston. Tejaswin was also the lone representative from India in this competition.
Tejaswin took first place, defeating Donald Thomas of the Bahamas, who finished second with a best jump of 2.23 meters. Darryl Sullivan of the United States came in third, which was also his season-best indoor jump, i.e., 2.19 meters. However, he couldn’t go past this mark and made three unsuccessful efforts. Tejaswin is yet to clear the mark of 2.30 meters, which would be a personal best for him. The 24-year-old athlete holds a personal best of 2.29 m in outdoors. While he recorded his top indoor performance in Ames 2018 which was 2.28 m.
Shankar was awarded a four-year sports scholarship at Kansas State University in 2017. There, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has a corporate career in the United States of America and works for the Deloitte, an international professional services network, in what is seen as an uncommon career choice for a professional athlete. The 24-year-old Tejaswin competed in his first competition since graduating from Kansas City University. He also won his second NCAA title for Kansas State in the previous year.
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Shankar rose to prominence after becoming the first Indian to clinch a medal in the high jump at the Commonwealth Games. He scripted history for India after winning the bronze medal for the country with a jump of 2.27 meters in the final of the high jump competition in Birmingham in 2022. However, his path to victory was full of hurdles. The Athletics Federation of India barred Tejaswin Shankar from competing in the CWG 2022 due to his absence from the Interstate Senior Athletics Championships. The athlete petitioned the Delhi High Court to overturn the federation’s decision to exclude him from the Birmingham Games.
The High Court stated that Shankar is a “medal prospect” and there shouldn’t be an ego problem, adding that the fact that he did not compete in the interstate tournament shouldn’t be the only factor in determining whether or not to reject him. Justice Jasmeet Singh filed a motion to allow Shankar to compete in the Commonwealth Games 2022 based on his performance at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships.
Tejaswin was then given permission to compete at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2022 after the organizers granted the Indian Olympic Association’s plea for his entrance. He was named to the Indian athletics team in place of 4x400m relay team member Arokia Rajiv, who was included in the original squad, according to the Athletics Federation of India. However, the CWG organizers first denied Shankar’s late application, but after a Delegate Registration Meeting, the IOA received confirmation from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Birmingham CWG organizers that his entry had been accepted.