At the National Junior Athletics meet on Thursday, Tejaswin Shankar created history, setting a new senior national record in the high jump event. What made the feat all the more special was that Tejaswin was competing against opponents double his 17 years of age.
Tejaswin has been a prodigious talent earmarked for great achievements since a long time. But it wasn't always athletics that Tejaswin has had his eye on. In his school days, he was training to become a fast bowler. Speaking to the Indian Express, he said he turned his attention to athletics after winning a medal at a school meet.
In 2015, Shankar had won a bronze medal in the Asian Youth Championships in Doha, and his latest achievement adds to the hardworking young athlete's already glittering early career. Shankar's 2.26-metre jump earned him gold in the Under-18 category.
"I hope I made up for missing the World Junior Meet in Poland, earlier this year. I met with a freak accident while riding pillion with my friend on a scooter just before the squad was finalised," Shankar told Scroll after his win. "My record effort will make me World No 2 in the U-20 category."
As news trickled in of the 17-year-old's fine achievement, the congratulatory messages started pouring in.
Prominent cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle had high praise for the youngster:
Well done Tejaswin Shankar. When a national record is set in a junior's event, it is a wonderful sign. #HighJump
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 11, 2016
If Tejaswin can continue in the same vein, India's prospects in athletics at future Olympic Games look bright.
Watch his record shattering attempt here
with inputs from agencies