- Prakash had finished sixth in the 2018 Gold Coast edition with the best jump of 2.24m
- Hamish Kerr of New Zealand won the gold and Australia's Brandon Starc clinched the silver medal
- Tejaswin raced past Bhim Singh from India who cleared 2.06m in the 1970 edition in Edinburgh
Birmingham| High jump athlete Tejaswin Prakash's story has been nothing sort of a dramatic turnaround. The last-minute addition to India's Commonwealth Games squad, Prakash has made history as he became the first Indian athlete to win a bronze medal in the final of the high jump contest. The 23-year-old athlete who finished sixth in the 2018 Gold Coast edition with the best jump of 2.24m has achieved a feat that nobody thought about.
Tejaswin was added to the Indian squad at the very last minute after the Delhi High Court passed orders in his favor considering his season's best of 2.27m and personal best of 2.29m. Alongside Tejaswin Prakash, Hamish Kerr of New Zealand won the gold and Australia's Brandon Starc clinched the silver medal. Shankar's victory can be highly spoken about because before this it was only Bhim Singh from India who cleared 2.06m in the 1970 edition in Edinburgh. New Zealand's Hamish Kerr and Australia's Brandon Starc were involved in a close contest, but none of them could clear 2.28m but breached the 2.25m.
"I've been seeing these guys (Hamish Kerr and Brandon Starc) on TV all the time so just to share the podium with them is spectacular. This is my first feather in my cap so I just want things to move forward from here. I had a long (US) collegiate season and started jumping in January but getting a bronze here is like a dream come true and I'm just happy to take something back home with me", said an elated Prakash.
Surprisingly, Shankar was initially left out of India's CWG squad, but the IOA later got confirmation from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Birmingham CWG organizers about acceptance of his entry after a Delegate Registration Meeting (DRM). Shankar had later filed a petition at the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of the AFI to exclude him from the team, contending that he reached the qualification guidelines of the AFI by jumping 2.
(Inputs from PTI)