The 24-year-old Delhi-born athlete jumped 2.26 meters as he pushed the 2007 World Championships and 2010 CWG Gold Medalist Thomas, 38, into second place. The Bahamian made a best jump of 2.23 meters.
Cheered on by the crowd, Shankar, winner of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medal in 2022, cleared 2.14, 2.19, 2.23 and 2.26 meters on his first four attempts.
Good start to the year! Excited to be able to compete with the best guys 😄 season opener ✅ Thanks @NBIndoorGP… https://t.co/q2GZIPm1vB
— Tejaswin Shankar (TJ) (@TejaswinShankar) 1675550469000
Shankar, who won his second NCAA title for Kansas State last year and was competing in his first competition since graduating from college, tried three times for a potential personal best of 2.30 meters, but failed.
Shankar has a personal best outdoor jump of 2.29 meters, a national record, while his best jump in an indoor competition is 2.28 meters, both achieved in 2018 in Lubbock and Ames respectively.
Darryl Sullivan of the United States landed her best jump of the season at 2.19m to finish third in the four-man field.
Shankar took to social media to share a video of his golden jump and tweeted, “Great start to the year! Nice to be able to compete with the top guys; season opener.”