Top Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra suffered a groin injury while taking part in the prestigious Diamond League Meetings finals, which led him to skip his last two rounds of the competition in Zurich.
The 19-year-old Indian junior world record holder did not attempt his fifth and final throws due to the injury and his first round effort of 83.80m fetched him a seventh place finish in a strong eight-man field in Zurich last night.
He fouled his second round throw and came up with 83.39m in the third. “During the third round throw, I had a groin injury. I tried for the fourth throw but (because of the pain) I stopped at the run-up, did not do running in,” Neeraj told PTI from Zurich, Switzerland.
That is why his fourth throw was also shown as fouled attempt. Every participant gets six attempts. “After that I did not further take part in the competition and I skipped my final two throws,” Neeraj, who has a season’s best of 85.63m and personal best of 86.48m,
Asked if the injury was a minor one or of a serious nature, he said, “It (injury) is not minor, it is much more than that. If it was minor I would have continued and attempted the final two throws.”
He, however, did not undergo any medical examination as he had a return flight to catch. “I have not done any medical examination. I have to catch a flight and I am returning home,” said Neeraj, who could not make it to the final round of the World Championships in
London earlier this month.
No Athletics Federation of India (AFI) official is aware of the development at this time. World Championships silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic emerged the Dimaond League winner with a best throw of 88.50m, while reigning Olympic champion Thomas Rohler of Germany and Tero Pitkamaki of Finland were second and third with 86.59m and 886.57m respectively.
World champion Johannes Vetter of Germany was fourth with 86.15m. Neeraj accumulated six Diamond League points and ended at eighth place in the overall Diamond League rankings. He had finished fifth and seventh in the Paris and Monaco legs of the series in June and July respectively.
He is also richer by USD 7,000 from the elite Diamond League Meetings this season. He pocketed USD 2500 for finishing fifth in Paris, USD 1500 for finishing seventh in Monaco and USD 3000 for his seventh place performance in Zurich finals yesterday.
The one-day Diamond League Meetings format was changed this year with the first 12 legs (beginning from Doha on May 5) serving as qualifying events for the two finals in Zurich (August 24) and Brussels (September 1).
Men’s javelin throw features in four legs out of the 12 qualifying meetings and the eight participants who collected maximum points competed in the finals in Zurich.
The men’s finals of javelin throw, high jump, pole vault and long jump were held in Zurich while the finals of the remaining field events — triple jump, shot put and discus throw will be held in Brussels.
A Diamond League qualifying event winner gets USD 10,000 while the finals winner pockets USD 50,000.