New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) A day after Athletics Federation of India (AFI) told the Delhi High Court that it will include Tejaswin Shankar, India’s high jump national record holder, in the 2022 Commonwealth Games squad, Indian Olympics Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta said that the high jumper’s name had not been accepted by the Commonwealth Games Working (CWG) Committee.
Shankar was knocking the doors of the High Court as he was not included in the list of 36 names picked by the federation for the CWG squad.
AFI’s counsel submitted that one of the athletes was disqualified from the relay event which enabled Shankar to place in the contingent.
“We had sent Tejaswin’s name yesterday, but we received a response yesterday (Wednesday) night from the Commonwealth Games organisers that his name was not accepted,” Mehta was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“According to the rules, only a like-for-like replacement is permissible. So if we have withdrawn an athlete in one particular event, the replacement has to be in the same event,” he added.
As Adv Hrishikesh Baruah, appeared on behalf of the federation, apprised of the AFI’s decision, the bench of Justice Yashwant Varma told him to immediately inform the selection of Shankar to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as well as the Commonwealth Games authority.
However, the matter was kept pending by the court as it was stating that the discrepancies in AFI’s selection process merit further consideration to prevent “national embarrassment” in the future.
In the last hearing, the court had recorded that Shankar is the major contender for this year and only two people above him have the better jumps in the world. He met the qualification marks set by the AFI itself.
The federation has been actively told to consider his participation in the selection meeting, the court had noted.
The Delhi-based Shankar is studying business administration at Kansas State University in the US and is on a four-year athletics scholarship since 2017.
In the plea, the petitioner contended that the AFI’s decision to exclude him from the CWG squad is arbitrary, illegal, and against the national interest.