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Tejaswin Shankar betters own national record, finishes first in Texas Tech Corky/Crofoot Shootout

Tejaswin cleared a height of 2.29-metre, thus breaking his own record of 2.28-metre.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News 28 Apr 2018, 08:59 IST
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Athletics - Commonwealth Games Day 7
Tejaswin in action at the Commonwealth Games

What's the story?

India's Tejaswin Shankar, competing for Kansas State University, cleared a height of 2.29-metre in the Texas Tech Corky/Crofoot Shootout on Friday at the Terry and Linda Fuller Track & Field Stadium. In the process, he bettered his own national record of 2.28-metre, a height he had cleared twice previously.

In case you didn't know...

Born in Delhi, Tejaswin's first love, like every other Indian kid on the block, was cricket. He started doing athletics to get better at cricket, but gradually fell in love with the raw sport and started excelling in it.

In 2017, he earned a four-year athletics scholarship at the Kansas State University where he is pursuing a degree in business administration while trying to build on his highly promising high jump career.

The heart of the matter

Tejaswin had broken the outdoor national record for the first time in the junior national meet at Coimbatore in 2016 when he cleared 2.26-metre. Then, he broke the national indoor record at the Big 12 Indoor Athletics Championships in Ames, Iowa, where he jumped 2.28-metre and bagged the bronze medal.

He proceeded to better his own outdoor record by clearing 2.28-metre at the Federation Cup in February 2018 and qualified for the Commonwealth Games. However, in Gold Coast, the teenager could not make a mark, finishing sixth.

A couple of weeks on, and Tejaswin has already put that disappointment behind him. After his jump in Texas, he took to Twitter to express his delight.

Here's a video of the jump:

What's next?

Tejwasin had earlier said that national record was not the benchmark and his goal is to win a medal at a big event, representing India. The next big event is, of course, the Asian Games and once again, the 19-year-old will be carrying India's hopes in high jump.

Author's take

The expectations on Tejaswin will now be higher than ever. Along with Neeraj Chopra, he is the country's biggest hope in Track and Field events in big-ticket multi-discipline sporting events. Hopefully, at the Asian Games, he will be able to live up to expectations and make the country proud.

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