India Today

A Higher Power

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Three days before the Games began, Tejaswin Shankar wasn’t even sure he’d make it to Birmingham. Shankar had taken the Athletics Federation of India to court for non-selection despite meeting the eligibilit­y mark. With the Delhi High Court ruling in his favour at the nth hour, he anxiously awaited the UK visa. “Once I got here, I knew what I had to do,” says Shankar, who leapt 2.22 metres to clinch India’s first ever medal in the discipline.

Shankar, the son of a lawyer couple in Delhi, initially

dabbled in 400 metres and long jump before setting his heart on the high jump. He made a mark at the junior level and soon caught the eye of JSW Sports who signed him on.

The national indoor and outdoor record holder, Shankar recently completed his bachelor’s degree in finance and master’s in accounting from Kansas State University where he was on a collegiate sports scholarshi­p. A two-time National Collegiate Athletic Associatio­n (NCAA) champion there, Shankar’s goals now include crossing the 2.3 metre barrier and qualifying for his first World Championsh­ips. He’s also focusing on the decathlon with a bid to qualifying in the discipline for next year’s Asian Games.

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