Omitted from the CWG squad, high jumper Tejaswin takes AFI to court

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Just days after the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) of India excluded Tejaswin Shankar from their squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, despite being the only high jumper to reach the qualifying standard of 2.27m, the athlete tapped into Delhi High Court doors. by submitting a written application.

The petition, filed on Monday and submitted for consideration today, calls Tejaswin’s expulsion “arbitrary” and also says the 23-year-old is a medal contender in the CWG as “only two high jumpers (Hamish Kerr and Django Lovett) who are likely to participate in CWG 2022 are jumping better than him this year.”

Teisaswin, representing Kansan State University, won the NCAA High Jump Championship last week with a best jump of 2.27m in Eugene, Oregon, home of the upcoming World Championships.

“A potential CWG Games medal contender has been arbitrarily excluded despite meeting the requirements set by the AFI. Furthermore, this decision is illegal because Tejasvin should have received the exemption he sought as an elite athlete, along with three other athletes (Sima Punia, Neeraj Chopra, Avinash Sable) who were granted exemption from participation in interstate competitions on a similar basis. . grounds. The current national record holder has been arbitrarily expelled at the whim of the AFI, and this action is absolutely against the national interest,” lawyer Malak Bhatt, who will represent Tejaswin, told the newspaper.

In its 37-man roster for the Commonwealth Games announced last week, AFI did not include notably Tejaswin Shankar and long jumper Jeswin Aldrin, who reached the qualification requirement of 8 meters and has the second-best jump among Indians in this season.

After the initial insult, Tejaswin wrote to the federation asking for a trial in California, where the Indian team is likely to camp ahead of the World Cup in Oregon. The federation reacted quickly, stating that the choice “was final” and that neither Tejsaswin nor Jeswin would face legal action.

On the day of the line-up announcement, the AFI president said that Tejaswin had never sought an exception to participate in the Interstate meeting, unlike Neeraj Chopra, Avinash Sable and Seema Punia.

“It was clearly stated on the website that this was the last event to attempt to register a qualification standard for the CWG and Worlds. Tejaswin did not want to be chosen. Mr. Shankar did not ask to be exempted from participation in the interstate championships. He didn’t ask us for permission before competing in the US,” AFI president Adille Sumarivalla told reporters after the team’s announcement on Thursday.

But the petition says Tejaswin approached head national coach Radhakrishnan Nair in February for an exemption from competing in the interstate competition as they clashed with the NCAA championships in the US. “Mr. Radhakrishnan informed Petitioner via WhatsApp on 11/06/2022 that he will be considered by the Selection Committee based on his 2.27m jump at the 2022 NCAA Athletics Championships and has repeatedly inquired about the status of Petitioner’s visa for CWG 2022,” the petition , a copy of which is available indian expressstated.

At the interstate competitions, the best jump of 2.24 m was recorded by Anil Kushara. AFI has decided not to send high jump entries for the Commonwealth Games.

“I really hope that the federation will give me one opportunity. I have already reached the mark, but I am ready to jump in front of them. The reason I was able to reach the qualifying score was primarily because I was playing against the best opponent here. Even though I competed here in the US, my heart was on the CWG qualifiers,” Tejasvin told the newspaper when the roster was announced.

The petition also mentions how multiple Commonwealth Games medalist Seema Punia was included in the squad subject to challenges, despite not having yet earned a qualifying score.

“Punia has been included in the squad despite not meeting the qualifying standard in any competition this season (she has a season-best 55.97m against a qualifying standard of 58m). Despite this, Ms. Punia was allowed to join the team on the condition that she meets the qualifying standard in California,” the petition reads.

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