Despite the Indian Olympic Association’s order, champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s participation in the upcoming National Games appears to be in question as he is coming off a groin injury and a demanding season.
Olympic gold medalist Chopra made history on Thursday by becoming the first Indian to win the prestigious Diamond League Finals championship in Zurich, capping off the international season in style.
A day later, he was inquired about participating in the National Games, which will take place from September 29 to October 12 in various Gujarati cities.
Chopra told reporters, “I am primarily focused on next year because the National Games are quickly approaching and I may not be able to train for one or two weeks due to a groin injury.
Many athletes may need to adjust their training schedules as a result of the IOA making participation in the Games for the nation’s best athletes mandatory.
After Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled the Games’ mascot and anthem and declared that they would be the “biggest and grandest” ever, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur issued the IOA directive.
After a seven-year hiatus, the National Games are once again being held.
After winning a silver medal at the World Championships in the USA in July–August, Chopra was forced to miss the Commonwealth Games due to groin pain.
Chopra, however, had won the Lausanne-leg of the Diamond League series on August 26 and qualified for these Finals, putting an impressive end to the one-month injury layoff.
With his third-best throw of his career of 89.08 metres, he had become the first Indian to win a Diamond League meet title in Lausanne.
In Zurich, Chopra started out with a foul but quickly moved to the top with a throw of 88.44m, which was his fourth career best and ultimately the winning throw.
His subsequent four throws covered 88.00m, 86.11m, 87.00m, and 83.60m.
Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, an Olympic silver medalist, came in second with a best throw of 86.94 metres, which he recorded on his fourth attempt. With a best of 83.73m, German athlete Julian Weber finished third.