India’s Tejaswin Shankar claimed bronze medal in decathlon at the ongoing 25th Asian Athletics Championships being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Shankar, a Delhiite, is a part of the 50-member national team selected by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the July 12-16 continental competition.
The national record-holder in men’s high jump began pursuing decathlon in 2022 and was excited to have won a medal in his first international competition.
“It was a good experience competing at the continental level,” Shankar said after winning the bronze medal on Thursday with a score of 7527 points.
“My next step is to prepare for the Asian Games. I have enough time for it unlike in this competition, for which I got only 15 days. Therefore, I am still happy with the performance here. Decathlon is a challenging event and it takes lot of time to recover from it.”
The 24-year-old says he is hoping to score 7,700 or beyond at the Asian Games.
Japan’s Yuma Maruyama won gold with 7,745 points, while silver went to Thailand’s Suttisak Singkhon who scored 7,626 points.
The multi-discipline event is spread over two days. On the first day, competitors have to compete in 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m. The second day events are 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m.
The competitors get points as per performance in each of the 10 events. The athlete who has maximum points at the end of Day Two is declared winner.
Shankar was leading the field on Day One with 4,124 points. His opening day (Wednesday) scores were as follows — he clocked 11.30 seconds in 100m to earn 795 points. In the long jump, his best jump was 7.48m (930 points). While in shot put his best throw was 12.39m (830 points). In the high jump, his pet event, he crossed the bar at 2.14m (934 points).
In the 400m, he clocked 49.57 seconds (835 points) to earn 4,124 points at the end of the first day.
Shankar’s performance on the second day (Thursday) was 110m hurdles in 14.65 secs (880 points). He hurled the discus to a distance of 38.14m (627), while in pole vault, he scaled 3.80m (562). In javelin throw, his best throw was 52.70m (629). In the 1500m, which is the last event, his performance was 4:36.18 (705).
At the 62nd National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, last month, he won gold with 7,576 points which was better than the Hangzhou Asian Games qualification mark of 7,500 points.
Shankar said he will continue to compete in decathlon as well as high jump, which is his pet event, in future.
“There was stagnation in high jump so I started a multi discipline event to improve my performance,” he added.