Fed Cup Athletics: Tejaswin Shankar sets national record

Tejaswin Shankar cleared 2.28m to set a new national record at the Federation Cup in Wednesday, bettering his own mark of 2.26m set two years ago.

Despite a new national record of 2.28m, Tejaswin narrowly missed the 2.31-mark that would have been good enough for a CWG gold four years ago.   -  Special Arrangement

It was a prestige issue for the 19-year old, forced to participate in the ongoing 22nd Federation Cup athletics meet here for a shot at the Commonwealth Games despite his recent excellence and being the national record holder with a mark that was already better than what the federation expected.

Tejaswin Shankar did it in style on Wednesday, setting new records en route and proving he was the best high jumper in the country by a fair distance. The Delhi youngster cleared 2.28m to set a new national record, bettering his own mark of 2.26m set two years ago.

Having arrived in the city only a week ago after a gruelling 24-hour flight and a hectic season on the US collegiate circuit, Tejaswin narrowly missed the 2.31-mark that would have been good enough for a CWG gold four years ago.

READ: Tejaswin Shankar breaks national record indoors

“All top athletes do all this travelling routinely. I am not one yet but these are learning experiences. One of the reasons for me coming here was also to test my consistency. Now that I have done this mark twice in quick succession, I have no excuse to not do it again at the CWG.

For me, winning a national championship is like an ego booster bigger than anything else so I am not unhappy with missing the 2.31m mark, it will happen. I am looking at that and above, no set target though,” Tejaswin said.

It was only another feather in a cap that is already growing heavy with achievements. His last outing at this very venue was a disappointing 5th place finish.

On Wednesday, he had at least 100 people cheering him on, applauding his every jump. “To be honest, more than my 2.28m, I am happy for Siddharth bhai's 2.25m jump to qualify for the CWG. Now there will be two jumpers from India at CWG and hopefully we will both come back with medals,” he added.

Siddharth 'bhai ' was Siddharth Yadav, who cleared 2.25m for silver and another CWG spot. The 24-year old from Pataudi near Delhi was participating in only his second competitive meet in four years, and second since he set a new meet record of 2.23m at the 2017 Open Nationals in Chennai.

Siddharth Yadav also sealed his CWG berth with a silver medal after a jump of 2.25m.   -  Special Arrangement


“I think we both pushed each other to do well. His performance helped me raise the bar and, I would like to believe, my success egged him on. It is healthy competition that brought out the best in both,” Yadav admitted.

Incidentally, Tejaswin's 2.28m equalled the best performances in the world this season while Yadav's mark is the second best in the world!

ALSO READ: Seema Punia books CWG spot with top throw

Also making the cut for the CWG was L. Suriya, who bettered the meet record with an impressive timing of 32:23:96 in the 10,000m after narrowly missing out on in the 5000m. The qualifying guideline was set at 32:30:00.

Among those who disappointed was national and meet record holding pole vaulter VS Surekha, who managed only 3.90m, and Annu Rani who could only throw to 57.37m in javelin.

The results:
Men: Discus throw: Dharamraj Yadav (55.35m), 2. Kirpal Singh (54.51m), 3. Mithravarun S (54.28m); High jump: 1. Tejaswin Shankar (2.28m), 3. Siddharth Yadav (2.25m), 3. Sreenish C (2.14m); 10,000m: 1. Govindan Lakshmanan (29:31.72), 2. Gavit Murli (29:33.85), 3. Abhishek Pal (29:34.47).

Women: Triple jump: 1. Sheena NV (13.31m), 2. Renu (13.22m), 3. MA Siva Anbarasi (12.95m); Javelin throw: 1. Annu Rani (57.37m), 2. Pushpa Jakhar (53.70m), 3. Sharmila Kumar (53.53m); Pole vault: 1. VS Surekha (3.90m), 2. Khyati Vakharia (3.80m), 3. Krishna Rachan (3.70m); 10,000m: 1. L. Suriya (32:23.96), 2. Sanjeevani Jadhav (33:36.49), 3. Swati Gadhave (33:47.02).


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