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'I Wasn't Even Supposed To Be Here,' Tejaswin Shankar Celebrates CWG Bronze

Tejaswin Shankar fought a hard battle for weeks to be included in India's CWG squad.

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Tejaswin Shankar watched the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games from his home in New Delhi, without a visa or a ticket to the Birmingham event.

On Wednesday, he was standing on the podium at the Alexander Stadium, with a bronze medal around his neck and a smile of satisfaction on his lips as he bagged India's first high jump medal at the CWG.

"A few days ago, I wasn't even supposed to be here. So now, just to be here and even to take that first jump, it was like a dream come true for me,' said Tejaswin while speaking to the media from Birmingham.

Tejaswin was not named in the Indian athletics contingent in June when the Athletics Federation of India announced the squad as he did not participate in the Inter-State meet -- which were the trials. He approached the Delhi High Court with his case and his name was eventually cleared for participation by the court. However, it was only last week that the organisers too agreed to add his name to the Indian contingent and permitted Tejaswin to join the Indian athletics squad as a late replacement. He reached Birmingham just three days back.

"That turned out to be a big problem for me. I always wanted to represent India. And for that to happen, I had to compete at the Nationals. But, at the same time, I had to go to school. Two things cannot happen at the same time. So, I had to cut some corners," he said.

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While speaking to the media from Birmingham, Tejaswin also said he would "certainty" compete in decathlon at next year's Asian Games.

"That is a certainty. I want to compete in decathlon at the Asian Games. That is what I am going to do, going forward," Tejaswin said.

"Because with constant tendonitis on my knee, I have not been able to jump as much as I would like to. But I have been able to supplement my high jump training by doing a lot of long jump activities or doing hurdles," the 23-year-old added.

Decathlon is a competition in which athletes participate in 10 sporting events -- 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m -- over two days.

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Topics:  Tejaswin Shankar   CWG 2022 

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