Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will be returning to action in the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala’s National Institute of Sports (NIS) campus. Asian medallist Shivpal Singh will also participate in the event.
Both Neeraj and Shivpal have secured their individual berths for the rescheduled Summer Olympics, starting from July 23.
The Commonwealth and Asian Games champion Neeraj had booked his ticket to Tokyo after he threw a distance of 87.86m during South Africa's domestic competition in January last year.
This was way ahead of the Olympics qualification mark of 85m. Shivapal too earned an Olympic quota after recording a throw of 85.47m in South Africa last year.
Annu Rani, the two-time Asian Championships medallist and current national record holder, will be the star attraction in the women's javelin throw event. She will look forward to capitalising on the opportunity to secure an Olympic berth.
Although Annu covered impressive distances in the 2019 Doha World Championships, she failed to better her national record of 62.43m to secure a berth for the Summer Olympics. The Olympics qualification mark is 64m.
Dutee Chand to skip the event
After winning gold in the women's 100m event during the the first leg of the competition, star sprinter Dutee Chand will skip the second event due to quarantine restrictions at the campus.
The domestic athletic season has begun with the Indian Grand Prix-I on February 18. This will be followed by the Indian GP-II and Indian GP-III on February 25 and March 5, respectively.
Several athletes, including 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Manjeet Singh, 400m national record holder Muhammed Anas, long jump national record holder Murali Sreeshankar, and Asian Games bronze medallist Arokia Rajiv had skipped the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix.
Javelin throwers Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh, steeplechaser Avinash Sable, race walkers KT Irfan and Bhawna Jat, and the 4x400m mixed relay team have so far bagged Olympic quotas for the country in track and field.