Tejaswin Shankar opened India’s medal review in athletics at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with a bronze medal in the men’s high jump on Wednesday. It was India’s first CWG medal in the sport and a huge success for Tejaswin, who had to fight a match against the Indian Athletics Federation to reach Birmingham.
Following his win, a tweet went viral in which Tejaswin could be seen practicing in front of three feral dogs at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, even as the other athletes were in Birmingham for Olympic. Speaking of his late integration and eventual glory with NDTV, Tejaswin said it has been a long and difficult journey for him.
“It’s been a journey. First not getting the chance to be part of the team and then getting one. There were a lot of twists and turns. It was a fairy tale ending for me, in the end. coming home with medals staying home is about you and me but when you’re out of the country it’s about the country you don’t go out just to participate.
“In 2018 at the Gold Coast, I competed in front of a big crowd and finished 6th. That experience helped me and I want to get ready to win this time. I just feel lucky when everyone things happen the way it did.
“I really don’t know if I’ll make it to the end. For me, it’s important to stay in shape at all costs. We usually go to JLN stadium around 2:30 to 3 p.m. to avoid the crowds in the evening. At that time your only audience was the wild dogs. For me, going from 3 wild dogs to 30,000 spectators in Birmingham, it was a huge journey,” Tejaswin said. .
This is Tejaswin’s first medal at a major multi-sport event and he says he has no words to express his joy.
“The journey has certainly not been easy for me. But I think if the journey was easy it wouldn’t be as exciting as it is now for me. A few days ago I had the opportunity to have it. This medal is for the country and I’m so glad I did.
“This is my first major international medal. Honestly, I have no words now, to say something about this. I don’t want to say something and regret it later, so so maybe i’ll tell when i have words for it.
“It was phenomenal. Especially after I saw the Kenyan guy not being able to go 2.25m. At that moment I knew I had won bronze. I saw some Indian coaches and athletes. India waving the Indian flag I have never attended Tejaswin speaking.
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