In his maiden appearance at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, 19-year-old Indian Tejaswin Shankar bagged a historic gold in high jump with an attempt of 2.24m. He is now only the third Indian to win the prestigious title after Mohinder Gill (who won five triple jump titles between 1969 and 1971) and discus thrower Vikas Gowda (2012).
The effort comes just weeks after he wrote a letter to the AFI about his decision to skip the upcoming Asian Games due to a strained neck. The decision, a tough one in Tejaswin’s own words, was taken to avoid any career-threatening injury.
Tejaswin, who crossed 2.24m at his final attempt with the bar at that height, earlier cleared 2.08, 2.13, 2.18 and 2.21 in his first attempts.
After his win in Eugene, Oregon he replied in his typical witty manner that he’d like to visit the Disneyland next, when asked about his future plans.
“I was really looking forward to this, so I’ll probably go to Disneyland. I’ll probably go there and spend a couple of weeks and then get back to my summer training.
“I don’t want this situation to arise next year, where I’m in a tie with three people. I really want to put out a big mark next year so that I can be an outright winner next year,” he told the Kansas State media team.
HE DID IT! #KStateTF
Tejaswin Shankar is the men’s high jump NATIONAL CHAMPION, clearing 2.24m/7-04.25 on his LAST attempt
The winning jump ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/oMzqgtMopo
— K-State Track (@KStateTFXC) June 9, 2018
Moving to Kansas last year on a scholarship, the New Delhi based athlete has quickly adjusted to the new environment. Under renowned coach Cliff Rovelto, he has scaled new heights, including a national record shattering jump of 2.29m earlier this year. He also made his Commonwealth debut this year.