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India has won 18 medals in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. High jumper Tejaswin Shankar won the last medal of the day for India on the sixth day. He opened the account of India’s medals in track and field (athletics) in Birmingham. However, his success has not been so easy. Tejaswin had to struggle a lot for this.
Forgetting everything that happened to him in the past one month, Tejaswin remembered just one thing that he had to win a medal for India and fulfilled his dream by winning a bronze on Wednesday. Tejaswin finished third in the men’s high jump final with a jump of 2.22m. Ten days back, Tejaswin himself did not expect that he would make it to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and give Indians a chance to feel proud. He was the last name to join the Indian contingent to leave for Birmingham. Tejaswin reached Birmingham last, but he has won the first medal for India in track and field.
Actually, for the last one month, there was doubt about his participation. The Athletics Federation of India had initially dropped Tejaswin Shankar, who was practicing in the USA, from the Indian team because he did not participate in India’s national inter-state meet. However, Tejaswin exceeded AFI standards for the Commonwealth Games in one competition in the USA. After this, he challenged the decision of AFI in the Delhi High Court. After this, Tejaswin was allowed to participate in the Commonwealth Games at the behest of the Delhi High Court.
Tejaswin Shankar was eventually included in the Indian squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games as a replacement for injured relay runner Arokia Rajeev. Even then the road was not easy. The organizers of the Commonwealth Games had rejected Tejaswin’s late application for participation. Subsequently, on the request of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) allowed Tejaswin Shankar to participate in the upcoming Birmingham Games.
When Tejaswin was initially not included in the Commonwealth Games squad, he was seen practicing among street dogs at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. The picture showing their struggle and disappointing went viral on social media. During the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on July 28, Tejaswin was watching the ceremony while lying on the sofa at his home in Delhi. Then his case got stuck regarding visa.
Tejaswin Shankar watching the opening ceremony sitting at home due to non-receipt of visa
Tejaswin reached Birmingham three days ago i.e. on 31st July. His final was three days later. In such a situation, Tejaswin kept faith in his practice and gave his best in the final. Tejaswin finished sixth in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. His memories were also in Tejaswin’s mind. In the last four years, he worked hard and improved his performance a lot. Tejaswin gave his life to win this medal. Forgetting every struggle, he just focused on winning a medal for India. On Wednesday, his struggle went to fruition in the form of bronze.
However, he could not come close to his personal best in the final in Birmingham. Tejaswin is also a national champion and holds a national record in high jump. His personal best is 2.29 meters high jump. Tejaswin has also jumped 2.27 meters this season. Although he could only jump 2.22 meters in the final, he has achieved all these jumps in the first attempt itself. During the final in Birmingham, Shankar jumped 2.10m, 2.15m, 2.19m and 2.22m in his first attempts.
Hamish Kerr of Zeeland, who won gold in the men’s high jump in Birmingham, jumped 2.25m. At the same time, Brandon Starc of Australia, who finished second, also jumped the same meter, but he took more efforts for it. Because of this Brandon got silver. Tejaswin also tried to get the gold in the end. He tried to jump 2.28m and tried to overtake Hamish Kerr of New Zealand, but failed. Then he had only one attempt left. In this way Tejaswin won the bronze medal.