Boston: Indian high jumper Tejaswin Shankar overcame a strong challenge from former world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Donald Thomas of the Bahamas to win the top position in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix here.
The 24-year-old Delhi-born athlete leapt 2.26 metres as he pushed the 2007 World Championships and 2010 CWG gold medallist, 38-year-old Thomas, to second spot. The Bahamian had the best jump of 2.23 metres.
Encouraged by the crowd, Shankar, winner of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medal, cleared 2.14, 2.19, 2.23 and 2.26 metres on his first four attempts.
Shankar, who won his second NCAA title for Kansas State last year and was taking part in his first competition since finishing college, took three attempts at a would-be personal best of 2.30 metres but failed.
Shankar has a personal best outdoor jump of 2.29 metres, a national record, while his best leap in an indoor meet is 2.28 metres, both achieved in 2018 in Lubbock and Ames respectively.
Darryl Sullivan of the USA notched up his season-best leap of 2.19m to finish third in the four-man field.
Shankar took to social media to share a video of his gold-winning leap and tweeted, “Great start to the new year! Excited to be able to compete with the top guys; season opener.”
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