Neeraj Chopra, India’s Olympic medal hopeful, qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a throw of 87.86m at Athletics Central North East meeting held on January 28th at Kenneth McArthur Stadium in South Africa. This was his first competitive event after recovering from an elbow injury.
The Athletics Federation of India also said that they’ve confirmed with the South Africa federation that it is a ‘recognised international meet’ so the Olympic cut has been made.
— INDIAN ATHLETES (@indian_athletes) January 28, 2020
— Rahul Bhutani (@BhutaniRahul) January 28, 2020
Neeraj Chopra’s last major international competition was the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games in August where he won gold with a national record of 88.06m.
An injury had kept him away from the action for a long time. Reflecting back on the period, Neeraj in an interview with the Indian Express had said: “We athletes have a life that revolves around training. It’s our job and imagine, if you are asked not to come to office tomorrow. You know how it would feel, right?”
“It was a tough period and doubts did creep into my mind. We’re humans. Months of rigorous training and suddenly an injury undoes all the effort. But not for a moment did I break down. I believe that my hard work will bear fruit someday.”
“What I’ve learnt with experience is that no athlete is spared from the pain of going through an injury. You have to accept it. Staying positive is key. When I was told that I had to go under the knife, I was like, let’s get done with it. I had no fear,” he had said.
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