Tuesday night turned out to be special as javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra makes a comeback with a bang. One of India’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal hopeful made a successful recovery and in his first competitive event, he threw 87.86 metres to achieve Tokyo 2020 qualification at the Athletics Central North East Meeting held on at the Kenneth McArthur Stadium in South Africa.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) confirmed with the South Africa Athletics federation to find out it is a ‘recognised international meet’, which gives Neeraj an assured place at the Olympics.
The event had five participants, including India’s Rohit Yadav who took the second spot with a best throw of 77.61m. The other three participants, all from France, could not even breach the 70m mark.
Owing to his elbow soreness the star javelin thrower couldn’t compete since the Asian Games in 2018 where he won the gold medal throwing 88.06 metres. He was expected to participate in the National Open Athletics Championship late last year, but the AFI decided to allow Neeraj more time to get competition ready. Neeraj also missed the IAAF World Championships, the Diamond League and the Asian Championships during his time away from the field.