Delhi boy Tejaswin Shankar produced a record-shattering performance as Indians won two gold and a silver medal to launch their Commonwealth Youth Games campaign on a rousing note in Apia, Samoa, on Monday.
Shankar won the gold in boys’ high jump, while weightlifter Jamjang Deru won the boys' 56kg category before swimmer Supriya Mondal clinched a silver in boys’ 200 metres butterfly on the opening day of the fifth edition of the Games, being held at the Pacific island nation.
With three medals on Monday, India ended Day 1 of the Games in fifth position, behind South Africa, Australia, England and New Zealand.
A student of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in Delhi's Lodhi Road, 17-year-old Shankar comfortably cleared 2.14 metres to win the boys’ high jump gold. In the process, he bettered the Games’ record (2.13m,) held by another Indian, Hari Sankar Roy, in the 2004 edition at Bendigo, Australia.
He equalled his personal best of 2.14m, attained in Hyderabad in the National Junior Federation Cup last month.
Sri Lanka's Roshan Ranatunge and Jamaican Lashane Wilson took the silver and bronze respectively after clearing an identical height of 2.11m.
Considered a promising young talent, Shankar, who stands at six feet and four inches, won a bronze in the inaugural Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Doha in May and gold in the World School Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China, in June. He then finished a creditable eighth in the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, in July.
Earlier in the day, India opened their medal account with a gold through 17-year-old Deru, who lifted a total of 237kg with 102kg in snatch and 135kg in clean and jerk to win the boys 56kg category weightlifting event.
"I'm very proud to win a medal for my country. I have been preparing for this for the past two years," Deru said, after winning gold.
Later, swimmer Mondal bagged a silver in boys’ 200m butterfly, clocking 2:01.94 seconds to finish second behind Wilrich Coetzee of New Zealand (2:01.85). South Africa’s Brendan Levy took the bronze in 2:02.19s.
India are being represented by 25 athletes in eight disciplines out the nine for competition at the Games.