Armyman Sarvesh Kushare strikes high jump gold at National Games
Sarvesh Kushare was practising in a corn feed pit not long ago. Now he is the only Indian other than Tejaswin Shankar to jump 2.27m.
Competing for Services at the National Games, Sarvesh Kushare treated the crowd at the IIT Gandhinagar to a fantastic show, leaping a massive 2.27m to win the men's high jump on Sunday.
Kushare's gold medal-winning leap is the joint best this season by an Indian alongside CWG bronze medallist Tejaswin Shankar. The 2.27m-mark also makes Kushare the only Indian ever to reach this mark other than Tejaswin, signalling the emergence of a new champion in this Athletics discipline.
The 27-year-old went all alone from 2.21m to 2.27m on Sunday, as the silver medallist Aromal T settled for 2.19m.
Sarvesh, after clearing 2.27m went directly to 2.30m instead of trying to equal at the national record at 2.29m.
"After I cleared 2.27m, everyone thought it would be better to go for 2.30m and break the national record," Kushare said after his splendid performance.
"We had decided and come that I will attempt 2.30m today. I lacked a bit of pace and strength towards the end and so could not clear it," he added.
This was the fourth time the Maharashtra lad attempted to cross 2.30m in a competition.
Sarvesh, who has enjoyed a brilliant year by crossing the 2.20m mark four times prior in the 2022 season, took to the sport while still in school back in 2011.
"We had one RW Jadhav sir in school. He introduced me to the sport. Under his guidance, I did a best of 2.17m after which I was offered a job by the Indian army," Kushare said.
Hailing from Devargaon – a small village 70kms from Nashik, Sarvesh did not have the required pit for high jump.
"Jadhav sir created a makeshift pit using corn feed to help us practice. He also helped me with spikes," he said.
"The landing area was a bit dangerous, but since it was Jadhav sir I would blindly do it," Kushare added.
Standing at 180cms tall, Sarvesh Kushare maintains that he does not have the required explosiveness but is instead 'god gifted'.
"I do not think I have the required explosiveness, but it is a god gift. My coaches keep telling me that I have the god gift to jump higher and higher," he stated.
He now has his eyes set on the Asian Games and the World Championships next year.
"I want to jump 2.30m-2.32m and qualify for the World Championships. There is also Asian Games next year. That is how I am training right now," Kushare stated.