High jumper Tejaswin Shankar included in Commonwealth Games squad

Image Courtesy: Kansas State University

Indian high jumper and national record holder Tejaswin Shankar, who was initially omitted from the Commonwealth Games squad, has been added back to the 36-member contingent by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

The decision, which comes after the disqualification of Arokia Rajiv, was officially announced by the AFI via a statement in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday and Justice Yashwant Varma was informed that Tejaswin will be added back as a replacement of Rajiv and his name has been forwarded to the Indian Olympic Association as well.

“The AFI made a statement that Arokia Rajiv (4x400m relay) has been disqualified and Tejaswin Shankar has been included in the 36-member contingent. The Court has directed AFI to send the same forthwith to the IOA and the IOA has been directed to immediately reach out to CWG authorities and intimate about Tejaswin’s inclusion,” Malak Bhatt, Tejaswin’s counsel revealed to Sportstar.

All that being said, the case is not dismissed and the HC has listed it for 25th August for the issues raised by Tejaswin’s party about discrepancies in AFI’s selection process. “The Court said these issues will need to be sorted once and for all so that there is no ‘national embarrassment’ in future,” added Bhatt.

“We decided on legal recourse only after we felt there was no resolution available from any side. There was never a thought of proving anyone wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion. We only thought in this case, our opinion in terms of team selection was right and had merit,” said Tejaswin, who is currently in Kansas, “I am happy at the decision but I would have been happier if others who had made the cut were also included. After all, if there is a qualifying mark set, then anyone who meets it should get a chance.”

Hailing from Delhi, Tejaswin broke into the limelight after bagging a gold at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia along with setting a new record of 2.14 metres. The next year, he clinched silver at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati, clocking a 2.17 metres jump.

In November 2016 when he was aged just 17, the youngster set a new national record at the Junior National Championships in Coimbatore, breaking Hari Shankar Roy’s national record of 2.25 metres which was untouched for 12 years, with a leap of 2.26 metres. Less than two years later, at the t the 22nd Federation Cup Indian Championships in Patiala in March 2018, Tejaswin bettered the record by jumping 2.28 metres and improved it once again at the Texas tech invite in April, clocking 2.29m.

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