Indian track & field could be eyeing a distant Olympic medal if the Athletics Federation of India's request for a wild card entry to Neeraj Chopra goes through. 18-year-old Chopra had created history with a junior World record throw of 86.48 m on Saturday at the World U-20 championships.
Indian track & field's biggest moment happened on Saturday when 18-year-old Chopra broke the junior world record by a distance as he hit the 86.48m mark after struggling to cross 80m for a while. Speaking to iaaf.org after his record-breaking performance, the 18-year-old said, “I was hoping to throw far but I never expected to throw over 86 metres and break the world U20 record,” said Chopra, who became the first Indian winner in championship history. “My ultimate target was to qualify for the Olympics but I didn’t make it. My other goal was to win at the World U20 Championships.”
But his Olympic dream may still come to materialize after the Athletics Federation of India urgently sent off a missive to the international athletics body's President Sebastian Coe requesting for a wild card entry to the youngster.
"Neeraj's performance is a junior world record but more than that he is now at eight 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," AFI President Adille Sumariwalla, who is also a member of the powerful IAAF Council, told PTI.
With what is expected to be India's best Olympics ever, Neeraj's entry would prove to be just the push that Indian athletics needed. However, for now, the sports fraternity awaits with crossed fingers until the authorities take a call on the request, at such a late date.
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