New Delhi: Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has recovered from the “minor” groin strain injury he suffered last month and is taking part in the Diamond League Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on August 26.
A good show in Lausanne can ensure Chopra a berth in the Diamond League Finals in Zurich on September 7 and 8 as he is in the fourth spot in the standings. The top six in the standings will make the Zurich Finals. The Lausanne event is the last leg which has the men’s javelin throw competition.
The 24-year-Chopra had pulled out of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games last month due to the injury he had suffered during the final of the World Championships on July 24 in Eugene, USA, where he had won a historic silver.
He pulled out of the Birmingham CWG (July 28-August 8) just two days before the start of the multi-sport event as he was advised a four-week rest by his medical team. He then underwent rehabilitation in Germany.
“Feeling strong and ready for Friday. Thanks for the support, everyone. See you in Lausanne!” Chopra tweeted.
Chopra’s name was figured among the participants for the Lausanne leg when the organisers issued the list on August 17 but his appearance in the competition had been a matter of speculation due to the injury.
Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla had said that Chopra will take part in Lausanne if he is “medically fit”.
After his second-place finish in the Stockholm leg — first ever on the podium — on June 30, Chopra is in the fourth spot with seven points in the standings. Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic leads the standings with 20 points, followed by Germany’s Julian Weber (19 points) and world champion Anderson Peters (16 points) of Grenada.
At the start of the season, Chopra had said that he would like to do well in the Diamond Leg Finals.
The groin injury may have affected his preparations, but Chopra can aim for his maiden Diamond League title as the six-man field in Lausanne is not that strong as compared to the Stockholm leg.
Peters is recovering from injury after he was beaten up on a boat in his country earlier this month. Vadlejch is in the fray and so is struggling Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 Olympic champion.
Chopra’s season best is 89.94m while Vadlejch has a season’s best of 90.88m and Walcott 89.07m.
This will be Chopra’s second competition in a Diamond League Meeting this season. Before that, he finished fourth in Zurich in August 2018.
He has taken part in eight Diamond League meets so far — three in 2017, four in 2018 and one this year. He had two fourth-place finishes, the other one being in Doha in May 2018, when he had thrown 87.43m, before taking second place in Stockholm.
The winner of each Diamond Discipline at the Final will become “Diamond League Champion” and be awarded a Diamond Trophy, USD 30,000 prize money and a wild card for the World Athletics Championships 2023.
Birmingham CWG silver medallist Avinash Sable was earlier among the participants in the men’s 3000m steeplechase but his name is no longer on the list.
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