- Shankar requested permission from the court last month to avoid being disqualified from competing in the CWG-2022 due to his absence from the Interstate Championship.
- He sought permission to compete on the grounds that he met the requirement in the NCAA Championship in the US.
- The court stated that procedures related to training, selection and exemption in accordance with the standards laid down by AFI or CWG would merit further consideration.
Tejaswin Shankar, the top high jumper in India, has barely slept in over the last week. The 23-year-old had been anxiously anticipating the decision since he sued the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) over his exclusion from the 2022 Commonwealth Games squad despite meeting the qualifying standard.
The Delhi athlete’s tension eventually subsided when the AFI informed the Delhi High court on Wednesday that he would be substituted for quarter-miler Arokia Rajiv, who had failed a fitness test, in the 36-member roster.
Tejaswin is the only Indian to reach the 2.27m qualifying mark. However, he was excluded from the team since he skipped the Inter-State Meet in Chennai because it conflicted with the NCAA championships in the US.
“With all of the events going on, I scarcely got any sleep. How do you keep yourself motivated to train when you are uncertain about your upcoming tournament? Also impacted is my practice. Athletes are being forced to appear in court which ultimately hinders their performance in sports. He expressed gratitude to the AFI for including him in the squad and said he would finally be able to sleep peacefully.
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Arokia Rajiv, a sprinter signed up for the 4x400m Relay Team, was disqualified in the trials, according to a lawyer for the AFI, who told the court on Wednesday that Shankar’s name will be brought in to fill the vacancy.
Justice Yashwant Varma ordered the AFI to instantly transmit all particulars to the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) which might necessitate the adoption of subsequent measures. The selection committee was told that all other athletes who had met the requirements for the CWG could be selected if the AFI quota for participation in the Commonwealth Games is increased by the Indian Olympic Association after the court last month asked the committee to reconsider Shankar’s case regarding the merits of his jump. IOA informed the court on Monday that the Commonwealth Games Federation had received the proper request to extend the CGA India quota in order to allow the admission of six more names.
In order to avoid future disputes similar to Shankar’s, the court stated on Wednesday that matters like whether or not selections were made in accordance with the standards established by the AFI or the CWG, athletes’ rights to train or compete abroad while the trials were being held in India, and the exemption procedure would require further consideration.
The matter will be discussed in detail on the next hearing date, which is set for August 25, according to the court. The court added that the AFI and IOA were free to submit any additional affidavits they determined to be required.