After a break of one year, former world junior champion Neeraj Chopra is set to return to throwing javelin again. The athlete missed the Asian and World Championships as he had to undergo surgery for an elbow injury. Returning from the injury and after spending hours in rehabilitation, Neeraj will take part in the National Open Championships which are being conducted in Ranchi.
The 21-year-old was training in Potchefstroom, South Africa when the elbow injury was diagnosed in May last year. It was followed by a surgery.
However, with the Tokyo Olympic Games under 10 months away, Neeraj will be hopeful of showing that his rehabilitation is in line.
“I really want to get back to the competition mode and since this is the last competition of the season, I want to use this event to get into the feeling of competition. I had spoken to my doctors, and they have said I am okay to compete,” he said.
“I am feeling good. Much better now. I started training in Patiala few weeks back, and throws are going well in training.”
The meet is expected to be an opportunity for Indian athletes to perform well and secure ranking points. Moreover, it will also be an opportunity for them to have a go at matching the steep qualification standards the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has set.
Becoming a record-breaker athlete
Neeraj Chopra, who belongs to Haryana, was in the news for all the right reasons by setting the junior world record of 86.48 m at the U-20 championships in 2016. This achievement did not stop Neeraj as he aimed at being consistent with his throwing skills. Building upon his junior record, in the same year he equalled the Indian National Record at the South Asian Games.
At the 2017 Asian Championships which were conducted in Bhubaneshwar, Neeraj won a gold medal after an 85.23m throw. The following year would probably the best year of his career so far after winning 4 gold medals in the same calendar year.
In 2018 at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Chopra became the first Indian to triumph in CWG at the javelin throw event, by registering a season-best effort of 86.47 meters. In May, Neeraj broke the national record at Doha Diamond League with an 87.43-meter throw however he finished 4th in the league.
Continuing his fantastic throwing run, in August Neeraj yet again set another National Record of 88.06 meters and winning gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta. He also won gold medals at the Sotteville Athletics Meet in France and Savo Games in Finland after 85.17 m, and 85.69 m throws respectively.
The amount of hard work Neeraj put in 2018 has clearly reflected, as he suffered a shoulder injury early this year which was followed by surgery in March. He is recovering well and is now ready for action once again. We wish for a successful comeback and hope to see him participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Good luck, champ!