19-year-old national high jump record holder earns US scholarship, to compete in NCAA circuit
What's the story?
19-year-old high jumper Tejaswin Shankar will surely be on cloud nine. The national high jump record holder has won a four-year scholarship at the Kansas State University.
The teenager said, "I'm delighted with this opportunity and will definitely look to make the most of it. It's been a month since I started and for now, my target is to get in shape. The tournaments begin in November and I'm looking forward to training and competing."
In case you didn't know
Shankar's scholarship means that he will be eligible to participate in the highly competitive NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) meets in the US in the next four years. He will become only the third athlete from the nation to participate in the NCAA after triple jumper Mohinder Singh Gill and discus thrower Vikas Gowda.
Before he realized his passion was high jump, Shankar was an ardent cricket fan. The boy towered at 6 foot 4 inches and was a decent pace bowler.
The heart of the matter
Tejaswin's personal best score is an astounding 2.26 metres. He is confident that his move to the United States would be just the thing to hone his skills. He has set himself a target of crossing the 2.30-metre mark and believe he can do so with the help of the University's facilities.
The personal best was achieved at a junior national athletics meet in Coimbatore. Shankar will be under the mentorship of track and field expert Cliff Rovelto, who had guided high jump star Erik Kynard to a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
This is only Tejaswin's second trip to the US, the first being for a short training stint. It proved to be a turning point in his career because he said that the approach to training was vastly different from India.
Without a doubt, Tejaswin Shankar is a rising star and he will surely succeed at the Kansas State University. The University too will do their part in honing his athletic skill and he definitely stands out as one of the best prospects for the nation in the coming years.