Fearing that the star javeline thrower would further exacerbate his injury, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has asked Neeraj Chopra to pull out of the upcoming National Open Athletics meet. The athlete, sideline for a year with elbow injury, had to skip the World Championships in Doha.
After clinching the gold medal in the Asian Games last year, Chopra has become a household name and has been one of India’s biggest hopes in the Tokyo Olympics. However, his rise has been thwarted by an elbow injury that had sidelined him for over a year.
And when he was looking return to a competitive level, the national federation has now has asked him on Wednesday to “go slow” and withdraw from the meet. The Asiad and CWG gold medalist even underwent an elbow surgery last year and was looking fine for the outing in Ranchi this week.
But, AFI officials and the medical staff have been of the opinion that the javelin thrower needed more time to recover. “Neeraj Chopra is not ready for competition yet,” said AFI president Adille Sumariwalla, reported The Indian Express.
“We had a discussion between the high performance director Volker Herrmann, biomechanics expert Dr. Klaus (Bartonietz), and deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair, and were of the view that it was a bit early for him to return to competition.”
“We decided that we should find him a competition a few months later in Europe. But at this point, it is a little too risky to let him participate. We have told him not to participate and so we don’t expect him to participate,” he further added.