Neeraj Chopra only athlete to get exemption from inter-state meet : The Tribune India

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Neeraj Chopra only athlete to get exemption from inter-state meet

Neeraj Chopra only athlete to get exemption from inter-state meet

Neeraj Chopra. File photo



Tribune News Service

Vinayak Padmadeo

New delhi, may 14

As the reigning Olympics and world champion, Neeraj Chopra is easily India’s most recognised track and field athlete. His long list of achievements also mean that Neeraj has a certain pull with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

Neeraj, who is set to compete in his first national tournament in three years at the Federation Cup, is the only Indian athlete to have been exempted from participating in the inter-state meet to be held in Panchkula from June 27.

Since the Panchkula meet is the last qualifying event for the Paris Olympics, the AFI has made it mandatory for all Indian athletes to participate. Neeraj, though, will be preparing for the Paris Diamond League that will be held on July 7.

“Every athlete will compete at the inter-state but it is clashing with the Paris Diamond League. We feel that before the Paris Games it will be very important for him (to be there). Therefore, he gets the special permission to participate in these championships instead of the inter-state tournament. There will be no other exceptions,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said.

While Bhubaneswar is eagerly waiting for a superstar show from Neeraj on Wednesday evening, the champion javelin thrower has a very busy schedule outside the field of play. He has at least three promotions lined up in the city, including one for the official gear partner of the AFI and a personal shoot for his sponsors.

While Neeraj gets the exemption, others are not that lucky. Javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena has been asked to not compete at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on June 18, where Neeraj will participate. Jena was told that with his base being in Patiala, travelling would be counterproductive ahead of the Paris Games.

The Indian men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams punched their tickets for the Paris Olympics at the World Athletics Relays last week. After a very short changeover, the teams have been forced to take part in the Federation Cup. The teams are scheduled to fly to Bangkok for the Asian Relay Championships to be held on May 20-21. A few of the team members wanted to skip the Bhubaneswar meet, but the AFI had other ideas.

“That is not for me or the federation to decide. This is something that the coach of the 4x400m team decides. The coach believes that both the men’s and women’s teams need more competition and they must run here and that is why they are here,” Sumariwalla said. “Radhakrishnan Nair, the chief coach, had a conversation with the coaching staff and it has been decided that they will run,” he added.

Toor wins gold but misses qualifying mark

Tajinderpal Singh Toor won gold with a throw of 20.38m. PTI

Bhubaneswar: Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor and long jumper Jeswin Aldrin lived up to their top billings as they clinched gold medals on the third day of the Federation Cup. Both athletes, however, fell short of their personal best performances and also the Paris Olympics qualifying marks. Asian record holder Toor, representing Punjab, clinched the top spot with his third round throw of 20.38m, which was well below his personal best of 21.77m and Olympics qualifying mark of 21.50m. “I faced some problems today but I feel by the time of the inter-state championships (June 27-30 in Panchkula) I will be able to qualify for the Olympics,” the 29-year-old said. In the long jump pit, national record holder Aldrin came up with a 7.99m jump in the final round to win the gold. pti

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#Javelin Throw #Neeraj Chopra


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