Sports News Today January 29: After missing out from the action for more than a year, India’s ace athlete Neeraj Chopra has made a successful comeback to the international stage with a throw of 87.86m at the Athletics Central North East meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa on January 28.
With the throw, Neeraj has successfully breached the Olympic qualification mark of 85m. The 22-year-old is one of India prime medal prospects at the world’s biggest sporting festival – Summer Olympics 2020, which will be held in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) shared the achievement on their official Twitter handle. The body also checked with the South Africa federation to find out it is a ‘recognised international meet’, which assures Neeraj of a place in the Olympics.
The international meet also featured three French participants and another Indian thrower, Rohit Yadav, who threw 77.61m to finish second. Whereas none of the Frenchmen managed to cross the 70m mark.
An elbow injury kept the star thrower (Neeraj) away from the competitive action since 2018. His last major international competition was the 2018 Asian Games (in August) where he clinched the gold with a record throw of 88.06m.
In his time away from the sport, Neeraj missed major tournaments like the IAAF World Championships, the Diamond League and the Asian Championships last year.
He was expected to participate in the National Open Athletics Championship late last year, but the AFI decided against it to allow the Asian Games gold medallist more time to get competition ready.