Why Neeraj Chopra is skipping the London Diamond League ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Neeraj Chopra will hope to win a medal for India in Tokyo
Neeraj Chopra will hope to win a medal for India in Tokyo
Navneet Singh

India’s Tokyo Olympic hopeful in men’s javelin throw, Neeraj Chopra, will skip the London Diamond League scheduled for July 13 due to logistics issues, said an official familiar with the development.

“Initially, the London Diamond League was part of the buildup competition to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games. But later Neeraj Chopra withdrew because of the logistical problems of having an Indian passport,” said the official.

Currently, the 23-year-old Indian javelin thrower is based out of Uppsala in Sweden, where he is training for the Tokyo Olympics. Neeraj Chopra is accompanied by India’s foreign coach Klaus Bartonietz and physio Ishaan Marwaha.

Also Read: Olympics ki Aasha: How Neeraj Chopra overcame obesity to become a javelin throw star

He will train in Sweden until the last week of July and will fly directly to Japan. The preliminary men’s javelin throw round is scheduled for August 4 while the final is on August 6.

“Since focus is on the Olympics, certain changes in competition plans were made due to pandemic,” added the official.

Last month, at the Kuortane Games in Finland, India’s star javelin thrower won bronze with a distance of 86.79 meters. He began his campaign with a modest throw of 83.21m and improved to 86.79m in his second attempt.

Germany’s Johannes Vetter won the gold with a throw of 93.59m, while Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago won silver with a throw of 89.12m.

The international competition in Finland was Neeraj Chopra’s third on the European circuit since June 10.

Also read: Who can stop India’s Neeraj Chopra from winning an Olympic medal?

He won the gold medal in Lisbon on June 10 followed by Karlstad on June 22.

But Neeraj’s performance in Lisbon and Karlstad were moderate. In Lisbon he won gold with 83.18m while his best throw in Karlstad was 80.96m.

When did Neeraj Chopra qualify for the Tokyo Olympics?

Neeraj’s personal and season best is the 88.07m recorded this year in March in Patiala.

He qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in January 2020 in South Africa.

Thereafter, the Indian athletes couldn’t compete at the international level in 2020 due to a pandemic.

Neeraj Chopra returned to international competition after a gap of nearly 18 months when he competed last month in Portugal.

Shivpal Singh is another Indian javelin thrower to have qualified for the Olympics. He is training in Patiala.

Also Read: Complete list of Indian athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics 2020

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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