Tejaswin Shankar's formula to find calm amid Olympics worry

The many question marks over the Tokyo Olympics have left athletes worried. But high jumper Tejaswin Shankar has found a way to find calm amid the uncertainty.

Tejaswin Shankar is likely to miss the first three Indian Grand Prix meets and the Federation Cup in February and March.   -  www.kstatesports.com

The many question marks over the Tokyo Olympics have left athletes worried. But high jumper Tejaswin Shankar has found a way to find calm amid the uncertainty.

“The other day, it was trending on twitter that the Olympic Games are being cancelled. I just don't click on them because during quarantine time I was thinking what I was going to do next,” said the national record holder from Kansas, US.

“It turns out the one best advice I was able to give myself was, Olympics or no Olympics I want to jump 2.33m. Once I jump that, even if the Olympics are not going to happen, I'd be very happy because I was able to get the (Olympic qualification) standard.

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“It's not in my hands whether the Games happen or not but I think it's definitely in my hands to jump 2.33.”

Given the circumstances, Shankar feels that athletes should grab every opportunity they get. “The one thing I learned from the covid situation, and what everybody should learn, is we shouldn't wait for the opportunity, but make sure you grab the opportunity you have right now,” said the 22-year-old who is on a scholarship programme at the Kansas State University.

“We are having competitions here so I'm trying to make the most of them. I'm triple jumping, long jumping and trying to look at the big picture and jump higher in the outdoor season starting April."

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Good form

Incidentally, he broke the Indian heptathlon record while winning the indoor KSU DeLoss Dodds Invitational at Manhattan last week with a total of 5650 points, bettering P.J. Vinod's 5561 which came in the 2008 Doha Indoor Asians. Along the way, Shankar did a 2.25m high jump (personal best 2.29m) which proves that he is in good form despite the global pandemic.

But he is likely to miss the first three Indian Grand Prix meets and the Federation Cup in February and March.

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“As of now, the Federation Cup are on the same dates as the (US) indoor nationals and the NCAA championship. So, just like every year, we may have the same conflict,” he said.

“I'll probably try and do the inter-State in June. Once April comes we will have three solid months to focus on jumping on a higher level and I think I'll be able to jump higher as well.”

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