Tejaswin Shankar wins Big 12 Championship Bronze, sets national record
What’s the story?
Tejaswin Shankar took India’s athletics fraternity by storm as he broke his own high jump record by clearing a height of 2.28m at the Big 12 Indoor Athletics Championships in Ames, Iowa. This effort secured the Kansas State University student a bronze medal but the more impressive fact is that the height cleared by Shankar is the best this year amongst athletes from Commonwealth nations.
In case you didn’t know...
The 19-year-old had cleared 2.26m at the Junior National Championships in Coimbatore in 2016 to set a national high jump record in his school days. Earlier this year, Shankar had created an Indian record of 2.19m in indoor competitions. So the effort at Iowa has even bettered that feat.
The heart of the matter
Shankar was egged on by his coaches to take part in other competitions after he cleared 2.19m in his first event as a college student but that didn’t help his cause. The high-jumper participated in relay and long jump and even registered an impressive 7.40m in the latter but twisted his knee in the process. He had to skip his next tournament and was also in doubt for the Big 12 Championships. Kansas chief coach Cliff Rowelto believed in the youngster’s potential and readied him for the event at Iowa.
Shankar secured bronze behind Trey Culver and Vernon Turner. Culver cleared 2.31m while Vernon cleared 2.28 with fewer fouls.
Shankar will fly back to India to take part in next month’s Federation Cup which is scheduled to be held in Patiala from March 5 to 8. The Athletics Federation of India had set 2.25m as the qualifying mark for 2018 Commonwealth Games and this event will serve as a qualifier for the same.
Shankar is one of India’s brightest medal prospects for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. His performances have been brilliant over the last few years and now the high jumper’s main target would be to replicate that form in major events.