National record holder in the high jump, India’s Tejaswin Shankar produced a fine show to win the gold medal at the Iowa State Classic, an Inter-Collegiate meet in the United States of America on Saturday.
The 21-year-old, representing his University team Kansas State, cleared a height of 2.25 metres, a season’s best performance, for the yellow metal while Zack Anderson of South Dakota took the silver with an effort of 2.16 metres. Another South Dakota athlete Jack Durst completed the podium, having had to settle for the bronze on the countback norm.
Having begun his season with a 2.23 metres attempt at the Kansas State Winter Pentathlon, Tejaswin Shankar was expected to build on the start in his second indoor competition of the season. And the Indian high jumper didn’t disappoint as he calmly went about his business clearing the bars at two-metres and above with relative ease.
While his opponents could barely go beyond the 2.16-metre mark, Tejaswin Shankar barely broke a sweat at 2.19 and 2.22 metres. The Indian youngster, however, faced some resistance at 2.25 metres before clearing it in his third attempt. And that was the best he could muster on the day as three unsuccessful jumps at 2.29 metres brought an end to his run at the meet.
Haven broken into the limelight by obliterating a 12-year-old national record in 2016, Tejaswin Shankar has slowly gone on to build on his game over the years. His outdoor performances have seen steady improvement with his personal best standing at 2.29 metres. But with the Olympic qualification mark set at 2.33 metres, the youngster knows that he will have to put in a lot more if he has to make the cut for Tokyo 2020.
However, with the move to the USA aiding his cause, the Indian will be hoping to achieve Olympic qualification in the coming months with his eyes firmly set on a fine show at Tokyo 2020.