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Tough field awaits Neeraj Chopra

Paavo Nurmi Games, a gold event in the World Athletics Continental Tour, is one of the biggest track-and-field competitions outside the Diamond League
Neeraj Chopra
Neeraj Chopra
File Photo

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 14.06.22, 01:46 AM

Neeraj Chopra returns to action on Tuesday for the first time since winning the javelin gold in the Tokyo Olympic Games in August last year. Neeraj will be participating in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, and his mettle will be tested in a field stacked with superstars.

The Paavo Nurmi Games, a gold event in the World Athletics Continental Tour, is one of the biggest track-and-field competitions outside the Diamond League.

Besides Neeraj Chopra, reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, Tokyo Games silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic and London 2012 Olympics gold medallist Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad and Tobago will feature in the 10-athlete competition.

German ace Johannes Vetter, Neeraj’s arch-rival, was initially expected to compete but has withdrawn. His compatriots Julian Weber and Andreas Hofmann, however, are in the entry list. Out of competitive action for months, Neeraj will have his task cut out against the superstars, most of whom have been in full-fledged competitive mode.

Both Peters and Vadlejch have breached the 90m mark this season at the Doha Diamond League. Peters’ gold medal-winning throw of 93.07m in Doha is the season’s best in 2022.

“I don’t have to hit 90m straightway, 86 or 87m at the start of season will be more than enough,” Neeraj had said during a media interaction last month. “It is also my dream to cross 90m and will try to do that this year in some competition,” he had added.

His personal best is 88.07m and a throw of 87.58m earned him gold in Tokyo.

Live on Sports 18 and Voot, 9.30pm onwards



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