In a huge blow to India's chances at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Tokyo gold medalist, and World Championship silver medalist, Neeraj Chopra has pulled out from the event due to an injury. The star had hinted that he was not fully fit during the final of the Oregon event recently.
“Team India javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra had called me earlier today from the US to convey his inability to take part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games owing to fitness concerns. Following his participation in the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Neeraj had an MRI scan done on Monday and, based on it, he has been advised a month’s rest by his medical team,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said in a statement on Tuesday (July 26).
After the Oregon event, in a virtual interaction with the media, Neeraj had also hinted at a groin strain, which he got during the third throw in the final. “I thought even the fourth throw could have gone farther. After that, I felt something on my thigh and could not do my best in the next two. I had strapping (on the thigh). I will know the status tomorrow morning because my body is still warm after the event. I hope there should not be any issue for the upcoming events, Commonwealth Games.”
He was tipped to defend his CWG 2018 title at the Birmingham 2022 Games as well. Meanwhile, he is the first Indian to win a gold in track and field at the Olympics, and just the second from the country, to win a medal at the World Athletics Championship. In his absence, Grenada's Anderson Peters will be the favorite to win the gold, who also won the gold ahead of Neeraj at Oregon.
Neeraj had been in scintillating form this year, moving closer to that 90m mark, and had set a national record and personal best of 89.94m at the Stockholm Diamond League event.