A member of the team, sporting a comfortable lungi and stretched out on a couch at his home in Delhi, was on television as the Indian contingent was attending the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham in its elegant formal attire. Watching the proceedings. Was looking . Was looking.
“My mother joked that she was afraid I would sit at home with her and watch the rest of the game. High jumper Tejaswin Shankar, who took part in the Commonwealth Games just a week ago, says, “It didn’t look like the Commonwealth Games were going on. was approved.
High jumper Tejaswin Shankar, whose entry was accepted after a month’s eager wait, which had more twists and turns than a daily soap, received his visa and ticket on Friday, a day after the opening ceremony. After initially being denied a place in the team by the Athletics Federation of India despite scoring qualifying points, he was included in the squad following a Delhi court’s direction, only to be told by the Indian Olympic Association a few days later that the organizers did not do so. Do it. accept his admission.
Tejaswini celebrated with mother Lakshmi after getting her visa on Friday(Credit: Andrew Emson)
Tejaswin comes to the conclusion that his dream of participating in the mega-event is over. He booked a flight from the US, where he has been studying and training since 2017, and arrived in Delhi on 18 July, only to realize there was another twist in his story. On June 22, the IOA told Tejaswin that the organizers had accepted his entry in less than a week.
The next week, Tejaswin had to take time off to complete his visa, biometrics and other formalities. While most of the athletes spend the last few weeks fine-tuning their preparations, Tejaswin was running around to complete his formalities. He visited the Sports Authority of India’s office twice, once AFI and twice IOA, in the last week to give top priority to his process.
“The IOA and AFI have cooperated a lot over the past few days, but it could have been easier for me if it wasn’t about selection,” says 2022 NCAA champion Tejaswin. The lone Indian high jumper feels the past month’s mess hasn’t affected his physical fitness, but admits it has left him mentally exhausted.
“The competition at this stage is on a mental level. If you ask me about my fitness and preparation for the event, I would say that I am in very good shape.” Tejaswin and his family have gone through a lot of emotional turmoil in the last one month. The 23-year-old hasn’t been able to sleep soundly for weeks with so much uproar over his selection.
“It is a competition in itself for them to reach the venue on time,” says Maa Lakshmi.
Despite the uncertainty, Tejaswin never gave up training. Under the guidance of his school coach Sunil Kumar, he continued his training regime at stadiums in Delhi designed by coach Cliff Rovalto of Kansas State University. When asked to train himself in such conditions, he says, “It was my biggest challenge and my biggest escape.” “I needed to train myself to be healthy. When I am on the field I completely concentrate on my training and don’t let any kind of attention get into my mind. I am in a meditative state Yes, I’ll come.”
Now he will take a morning flight from Dubai to Birmingham which will take more than 12 hours. He will have to reach the sports village on Sunday and be ready for the qualification round by Tuesday. “There is no point in talking about jet lag and adaptation as I have no choice. I will just go there and perform,” he says.
A mini festival was organized in the Shankar family on Friday to compensate the players who did not participate in the parade. The Delhi athlete generously helped his favorite sweet ghevar. Tejaswin wouldn’t hesitate to wear official attire and walk down his hall for some social media content if he could have received them on time. “I was told that my official opening ceremony is not ready yet and I can take it after the Commonwealth Games are over,” says Tejaswin.