Ten events over two days in competitive sports sounds fanciful unless one talks about decathlon, perhaps the most difficult of athletic events.
On Tuesday, Tejaswin Shankar broke the 12-year-old national record in decathlon en route to winning silver at the Asian Games here, becoming the only Indian to hold national records in two different field events.
Also the national record holder in high jump, the 24-year-old fought cramps, dehydration and exhaustion on a humid night to finish with 7666 points to cross Bhartinder Singh’s 7658 points set in 2011. It had been a tussle between China’s gold medalist Qihao Sun (7816 points) and Tejaswin from the beginning as the two kept exchanging the top spot.
AS IT HAPPENED | ASIAN-GAMES-2023 OCTOBER 3 HIGHLIGHTS
While Tejaswin had led after the first two events -- 100m and long jump -- on Monday, he slipped after shot put only to regain the lead at the end of the day with brilliant outings in high jump and 400m.
But Tuesday had his weak areas scheduled, and with a massive 5m jump in pole vault and 64.41m throw in javelin, Sun went back to the top, where he stayed till the end.
Yuma Maruyama of Japan finished third with 7568 points. “I was expecting a little bit more, but considering my physicality today and how I was struggling with a hamstring cramp right after shot put, I am very happy with my score. The goal was to break the national record, which I was able to do, so can’t expect anything else,” he said after his final event – the 1500m, where he finished 4th.
“After the cramp, it was all about finishing the decathlon rather than worrying about the score. Kudos to the Chinese for an amazing PV (pole vault) and JT (javelin throw). After that, it was virtually impossible to beat him, so the goal was to secure the silver. In the 1500m, it was about pacing myself and also didn’t want to aggravate the cramping and end up not finishing the competition,” he admitted.
Tejaswin Shankar Points Breakdown
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