Golden SPEAR: Neeraj Chopra strikes gold in first event on Indian soil in three years : The Tribune India

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Golden SPEAR: Neeraj Chopra strikes gold in first event on Indian soil in three years

FEDERATION CUP Cup Gurindervir Singh fastest athlete

Golden SPEAR: Neeraj Chopra strikes gold in first event on Indian soil in three years

Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal with a best throw of 82.27m. PTI photos



PTI

Bhubaneswar, May 15

Olympics champion Neeraj Chopra won gold in the men’s javelin throw event of the Federation Cup, his spear shimmering through the balmy evening sky after an unusually slow start in his first competitive outing on Indian soil in three years.

Punjab’s Gurindervir Singh pipped Odisha’s Animesh Kujur in the 100m final.

Having arrived in the city on the eve of his competition after finishing second in the Doha Diamond League, the 26-year-old did not set the stage ablaze and was placed second after three rounds. Chopra, however, took the lead in the fourth round with an effort of 82.27m and did not take the last two throws as he was leading after DP Manu had finished his final round throw.

Chopra was representing Haryana. Manu of Karnataka came second with 82.06m, while Uttam Patil of Maharashtra was third with 78.39m.

Local man and Asian Games medallist Kishore Jena finished fifth with a disappointing 75.49m. Jena had qualified for the Paris Olympics when he threw 87.54m for the Asian Games silver.

“The competition was quite good and weather was warm,” Chopra said. “From the start, I was thinking if I feel good I will put effort accordingly. I came here after playing in Doha and there was not much recovery time and there was travel also, and I was not feeling that good,” he added.

“I have to compete in Ostrava (Czech Republic on May 28) in the Golden Spike competition. There will around 10 days to recover and compete,” he added.

Gurindervir Singh of Punjab took the 100m dash gold with a time of 10.35 seconds. Odisha’s Animesh Kujur, who won 200m gold on Tuesday, was second in 10.50 while another Punjab athlete, Harjit Singh, was third in 10.56.

The men’s triple jump was the other event that had almost all the country’s top athletes but the competition never rose to great heights. National record holder Praveen Chitravel of Tamil Nadu won gold with a below-par jump of 16.79m, while reigning Commonwealth Games champion Eldhose Paul of Kerala was second with an effort of 16.59m.

Tight security

Chopra’s presence prompted the organisers to tighten security around the Kalinga Stadium, which was buzzing with activity as fans waited in anticipation ahead of his event. The security arrangements put in place have rarely been seen for an athletics event in India.

Before Chopra reached the warm-up track of the stadium two hours prior to the final, security personnel were seen at the entry area, directing journalists to enter from another gate though they had entered the area through the same gate on previous occasions.

“People wanted to come to meet me and they were being stopped. I was not feeling good. Earlier, I was meeting a lot of people as they were allowed to come and meet me,” Chopra said after the competition.

#Javelin Throw #Neeraj Chopra


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