Injured Neeraj Chopra advised one-month rest, pulls out of Birmingham CWG
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, an Olympic champion and world championship silver medalist, has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games, which get underway in Birmingham on Thursday.
Chopra, the reigning CWG champion, suffered a groyne injury on Saturday during the World Championship final in Eugene, Oregon. According to Rajeev Mehta, the secretary-general of the Indian Olympic Association, he took an MRI scan the following day, and the physicians then suggested one month of rest (IOA).
“I was informed by the Athletics Federation of India today morning that Neeraj is not 100 percent fit. He had injured his groin and after scans, has been told to rest for one month. Consequently, he will not be taking part in the Commonwealth Games,” Mehta told The Indian Express.
The 24-year-old athlete was scheduled to carry the Indian flag during the opening ceremony on Thursday. Mehta stated that a choice will soon be made on the next flag-bearer after consultation with other IOA office-bearers.
It will be up to DP Manu and Rohit Yadav to try and place third in Chopra’s absence. But with the presence of Peters, the world champion, and Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott from 2012, it won’t be simple. Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan, who placed fifth in the World Championships, will also be a factor. Manu’s personal best is 84.35 metres, and Yadav’s is 82.54 metres.
The injury also casts doubt on Chopra’s ability to play in the Diamond League. On August 26, Chopra was scheduled to compete in the Lausanne Diamond League. He had placed second in Stockholm and was attempting to advance to the championship match on September 7 and 8 in Zurich. Chopra had mentioned a Diamond League championship as a key objective during the press conference held shortly after earning the silver medal at the World Championships.
He had come in second place to Anderson Peters of Grenada at Stockholm. For the first time ever, Chopra placed in the top 3 at a Diamond League competition in Stockholm on June 30.
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