AFI to include high-jumper Tejaswin Shankar in India’s Commonwealth Games athletics squad 

Tejaswin Shankar is all set to be headed to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games after having been initially omitted from India’s 36-memeber athletics squad. The Athletics Federation of India on Wednesday, July 6 told the Delhi High Court that it will include the high jumper’s name in the athletics contingent for the Birmingham Games, scheduled from July 28 to August 8.

Justice Yashwant Varma, who was hearing a petition by the sportsman against his exclusion from the athletics team, directed the Athletics Federation of India to forward Tejaswin’s name to the Indian Olympics Association and ensure that the two sporting bodies ensure his participation by adhering to guidelines within the set timelines of the Games.

“Mr (Hrishikesh) Baruah, learned counsel appearing for AFI, has, on instructions, apprised the court that Arokia Rajiv, an athlete who was part of the four by four hundred relay team, has come to be disqualified in trials which were held,” the court recorded in the order, as quoted by the PTI.

“He accordingly submits that in view of the resultant vacancy which has occurred, the petitioner’s name shall be included and forwarded forthwith amongst the list of athletes part of the Indian contingent for the upcoming CWG,” it further noted.

“The statement so made is recorded and accepted. Let AFI consequently and forthwith transmit all particulars to IOAwhich may take further consequential steps,” it said.

The court further said that it would keep the petition pending to examine the issues raised in it so that “this national embarrassment does not happen again”.

“Having heard learned counsels for parties at some length yesterday and taking into account the material which had been placed for its perusal, the court finds that the issues which are raised in the writ petition including the question of selections being made in accordance with the standards prescribed by AFI or the CWG, the right of athletes training or competing overseas at the time of trials being conducted in the country, the procedure for exemption would merit further consideration so that disputes like the present which was faced by the petitioner athlete do not recur,” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on August 25.

The court asked that the statistics and relevant standards argued by the petitioner be placed on record by way of an affidavit and also granted an opportunity to AFI as well as IOA to file any affidavits that they may deem necessary.

The court shall outline the issues which merit consideration after hearing parties on the next occasion, it said.

Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for the petitioner, said that since the team leaves for the event on Thursday, all necessary formalities concerning the petitioner’s inclusion should be completed during the day.

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This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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