Neeraj Chopra clarifies: Not injured, withdrawal from Golden Spike meet a precautionary move

PTI, May 26, 2024, 5:12 PM IST

Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Sunday clarified that he is not injured but has pulled out of the Ostrava Golden Spike meet in Czech Republic on May 28 as a precautionary measure after he felt “something” on his adductor muscles during a recent training session.

Chopra said he would not want to risk injury in an Olympic year and hence decided to skip the prestigious meet.

“Following a recent throwing session, I decided not to compete in Ostrava as I felt something in my adductor. I have had problems with it in the past and pushing it at this stage can lead to injury,” Chopra wrote on his Instagram.

“Just to clarify, I am not injured but I don’t want to take any risk during the Olympic year so had to take this decision. Once I feel it’s fully recovered, I will get back to competitions,” he added.
Chopra’s clarification came just hours after the organisers of the prestigious meet said he has decided to skip the event due to an injury he sustained while training two weeks ago.

“Due to an injury that he sustained in training two weeks ago (adductor muscle) he will not be able to throw in Ostrava, but he will arrive at the event as a guest,” the organisers of Golden Spike said earlier in the day.

The 26-year-old world champion will, however, attend the meet as a guest, according to the organisers.

This was to be Chopra’s first foray in Golden Spike meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold level event, which is a going to see a star-studded field, with Tokyo Olympics silver medallist and 2023 world championships bronze winner Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic and former world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada set to be in action.

Chopra has competed in two competitions this season — the Doha Diamond League and the Federation Cup.

He commenced his 2024 season on a strong note, clinching silver with an impressive throw of 88.36 metres at the Doha Diamond League on May 10.

He then made a return to domestic competition after almost three years, winning gold in the Federation Cup on May 15 with a throw of 82.27m, pushing DP Manu to second spot in Bhubaneswar.

The Golden Spike was not initially announced to be Chopra’s third competition of the season. But during Doha Diamond League on May 10, he said he would be competing in the Golden Spike.

Before that, Chopra had announced that he would be taking part in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland on June 18.

Chopra is one of India’s best medal hopes in the Paris Olympic Games where he would be keen to retain the gold medal he won at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Golden Spike organisers said they had received a note from Chopra informing them about his pull out from the competition.

“The organisers did note a message from the Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra.”

European champion, Germany’s Julian Weber, will be the replacement for Chopra.

“The best possible replacement was managed by the organisers. European champion Julian Weber from Germany, who threw 88.37 on Friday, the third best performance of the year, will come to Ostrava. It will be a big test for Jakub Vadlejch before the EC in Rome,” the statement added.

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