Tejaswin Shankar included in CWC squad by AFI

The Athletics Federation of India on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that high jumper Tejaswin Shankar will be included in the list of athletes to be part of the Indian unit at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

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Shankar last month approached the court to obtain directive not to disqualify him from participating in the CWG-2022 due to his non-attendance at the Interstate Championships. He told the court that he may be allowed to participate on the basis that he meets the qualification criteria for the NCAA Championships in the United States.

A lawyer representing the AFI on Wednesday told court runner Aroya Rajiv, who was an athlete enlisted as part of the 4x400m relay team, had become ineligible at the trials held and as a result a vacant event would have Shankar’s name on him sent.

Judge Yashwant Varma said in the order: “The statement made is recorded and admissible. Let the AFI therefore and immediately transmit all details to the Indian Olympic Association. [IOA] which may take further subsequent steps. The Court expects both the AFI and the IOA to move forward with due dispatch, subject to the established timelines.”

The court last month asked the selection committee to reconsider Shankar’s case over the merits of his jump, after which they were told that all other athletes who met the qualification criteria for the CWG could be selected if the AFI’s quota for participation in the Commonwealth Games was increased by the Indian Olympic Association. The IOA told the court on Monday that the Commonwealth Games Association had duly requested an increase in CGA India’s stake to allow for the inclusion of six additional names.

On Tuesday, Judge Varma directed the Air Force Intelligence Agency to reconsider the issues arising in the case and put the matter up for hearing on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the court said issues such as the issue of determinations are being made in accordance with criteria set forth by the AFI or CWG, the right of athletes to train or competitors abroad at the time of trials taking place in India and the exemption procedure. It deserves further study, to prevent a recurrence of controversies as in Shankar’s case.

The court said the cases meriting consideration will be decided on the next date of the hearing on August 25. “The court also leaves the matter open to the AFI as well as the IOA to make any other representations they may deem necessary,” the court said.

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