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“Education is as important as sport if not more important”, says CWG22 High Jump Bronze medalist Tejaswin Shankar

Tejaswin Shankar

Birmingham, 4th August, 2022: Tejaswin Shankar, who contributed to India’s medal winning momentum with a Bronze medal proved that impossible is just another myth that can be uncovered when you have a clear mindset backed up with the never-ending hard work and determination.

His road to Birmingham had a few obstacles blocking the way but the high jumper was determined to look at the positives and let the negativity take a backseat. He said, “Oh, yeah, 100%, I mean. It’s always hard, you know, when somebody has to go through all that sort of thing. But most importantly for me, it was all about you know, once I had the opportunity once everything worked in my favour.

Once all the stakeholders were able to figure out a way to get me to the competition. Then I wanted to make sure that okay, now that everything is in place, I don’t want to use that as an excuse to not perform so I made sure that you know, like, I mean, yes, I’d made sure that at the at the same time, you know, I got lucky or what not.

Everything happened in my favour, but everything came together destiny, whatever you want to call it, but things happened and I was able to, you know, put all my thoughts behind me and just focus on the task at hand and I had three, four days to recover.”

Tejaswin, who will be dividing his focus on graining work experience post his masters along with training for the upcoming Asian Games had a piece of advice for the budding athletes.

He said, “Education is as important as sport if not more important, and that’s something that I am a big advocate of, and I feel like using this medal or you know, using this platform opportunity I want to stress and push that you know, every athlete should get basic education should focus on their education because like there’s no athlete in this world who trains 24 hours a day everybody trains you know, at that Max three, four hours, five hours at max, they still have 20 hours, you still have 19 hours left.”

He further said, “I feel like it’s really helping me and keeping my mindset and just being able to juggle multiple things and manage them well. So that’s one thing I’d like to really you know, like, spread and tell all the younger generation all the other athletes that hey, please focus on education. Please go to school. Don’t miss class, don’t bunk schools.”

Tejaswin found a family away from home when he united with his fellow athletes who helped him with words of encouragement that boosted his morale.

He said, “So, I was really happy that in spite of whatever happened. And coming into the village is that like, everybody had one goal, which was to try and win medals for India and everybody had forgotten everything or everybody had kept everything behind and that really encouraged me and that’s what we are here for right whatever we do at home stays at home, but when we come and come to an outside place, we want to be together as a family and win medals for our country and that’s what everybody did, which really made me happy and made my experience all the more exciting.”

The Bronze medallist also found solace when the crowd pumped up the atmosphere before his jumps which helped him focus to bring a medal back home.

He concluded on a delightful note by mentioning how his grandmother watching him on television early in the morning was the key highlight of his successful commonwealth games campaign, he said, “It was a great atmosphere in our house and for my grandmother, she’s 85 years old for her to watch me on television. I think that made the most headline for me. ”

“And, you know, she was saying that she could care less about me being in English or Hindi newspapers or, you know, TV channels, but when she saw me in the Tamil newspaper, that’s when I realized that okay, that’s the biggest achievement of my life. Because that’s all she can read. So, for that to happen, I think she was extremely happy that I was featured on the Tamil channel and that’s what mattered to her. And these were the talks that happened and we were just like, having a good time and I showed them the medal and they were extremely happy.”

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