Athletics: 17-year old Tejaswin Shankar breaks Senior National High Jump record
In a gold medal winning effort, Delhi’s Tejaswin Shankar smashed the 12-year old national senior record in high jump with a leap of 2.26m on the inaugural day of the 32nd National Junior Athletic Championships held at Coimbatore.
The previous record holder was Hari Shankar Roy from West Bengal who had registered a jump of 2.25m while winning the silver medal at the Asian All-Star Athletic Meet in Singapore in 2004.
Tejaswin, the 2015 Commonwealth Games Youth medalist made easy clearances initially with jumps of 2.06m, 2.12m, 2.18m. and 2.21m in the first attempt itself. Then came a failure when the bar was set at 2.24m, post which he registered the record jump of 2.26m on his second attempt.
Featuring on the senior circuit for quite a while, the 17-year old’s last major win came at the National Open Athletics held at Lucknow in September where he won the gold medal with a jump of 2.22m.
“At the Lucknow meet I had attempted 2.26 metres but could not clear the bar. But registering a jump of 2.22 metres after a four-month injury break gave me the confidence that I could break the national record soon,” Shankar was quoted as saying to the Indian Express.
The road upto these achievements has not been smooth for the athlete. Early in June, the high jumper suffered a groin injury at the Asian Junior Championships in Vietnam and finished sixth at the event, However, what was more disheartening was the fact that the injury forced him to miss out on the World Junior Championships to be held in Bydgoszcz a month later.
This, despite the fact that he had been one of the foremost athletes to qualify for the global event when he clinched the silver medal at the South Asian Games in Guwahati in February with a 2.17m jump.
Tending to the injury, the break proved to be a boon in disguise for the youngster for he put in greater efforts and hard work in the build-up to future events. “The weight-training and sprinting during the break had helped me become a stronger jumper,” Shankar believes.
However, despite holding the rare prestige of being a junior athlete to break the national senior record, Tejaswin seemed all but surprised with his own effort, "I did not expect the record here. I have no idea what happened to me. It went like a fairy-tale," he said after his event.