The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has given Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra plenty of time to prepare and train. Chopra was out with an injury for a significant part of the last year. However, he made a return to the sport participating in the ACNE League meeting in South Africa.
He qualified for the Olympics by registering a throw of 87.86 meters since the Olympic qualification mark was 85 meters.
The ACNE league was his first tournament after almost a year as Neeraj had missed the 2019 season due to an elbow injury. Upon qualifying, Chopra flew to Turkey to train but had to return to India when the government decided to seal the borders.
Since then, Chopra has been training at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. After learning about the fate of the Olympics, he was a bit relieved as he had not participated in any competitive league for a long time.
— Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) March 26, 2020
“Health is the top priority and I completely support the postponement. We athletes knew it was inevitable and that’s why it doesn’t come as a shock to me. While we were looking forward to Tokyo 2020, the environment wouldn’t have been appropriate for the event to be celebrated the way it should be.”
“I would say we should look at this positively as it would allow us a year more to plan and train for the Olympics, which is the biggest sporting event for many athletes. It totally works for me”
“There are experts at the IOC and World Athletics who will take everything into consideration before making a decision on new dates. So I think it would be best at this point for us all to focus on overcoming this challenging situation with our health intact for now and then work towards the Olympics next year depending on the eventual decision that is taken,” he further added.