Rio Olympics 2016: AFI seek wildcard from IAAF for Neeraj Chopra; petiton started
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has written to IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), the world governing body to consider Neeraj Chopra for a wild card entry in the Javelin throw event for next month's Rio Olympics said the President of the AFI, Adille Sumariwalla.
Chopra shattered the U-20 world record of 84.69 metres held by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais by almost two metres as his throw reached a distance of 86.48m last week. He also created history as he became India’s first ever Gold medal winner and World Champion in an IAAF event on Saturday evening at the U-20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Sumariwalla who was also part of the IAAF wrote to Lord Sebastian Coe within hours of Chopra’s triumph.
"Neeraj's performance is a junior world record but more than that he is now at the eighth spot in the IAAF overall list of season leaders, taking into account even the senior athletes all over the world. So, I have written to the IAAF president to consider Neeraj for a wild card entry for the Rio Olympics; Just after getting to know about Neeraj's performance I wrote a letter to Mr. Coe and I am hoping for a favourable outcome" said Adille Sumariwalla.
A petition has been started by change.org on the same as well.
Neeraj failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics as the deadline for any athletics event was 11th July. While his throw on Saturday was far greater than the Olympic qualification standard of 83m it was well beyond the deadline. His throw is a new national record and he also became the first Indian athlete to set a world record at any level.
“When the spear left my hand on that second throw, I had a feeling that this was a special throw. I don’t think I expected it to go over 86 meters but since the last couple of months, I have worked hard on my fitness, my technique and it all paid off today,” said Chopra shortly after his triumph.
The 18-year-old’s record is even more stunning when you notice that the Gold Medal winner at the 2012 London Olympics Keshorn Walcott's throw was off 84.58m. This was the shortest winning throw since the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Here is a video of the youngster from Haryana breaking the World record: