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Neeraj Chopra will medal in Paris: Analysts

Data Analysts at the Inspire Institute of Sport are confident of the athlete winning a medal at Paris 2024.

Neeraj Chopra will medal in Paris: Analysts

Neeraj Chopra's roar of victory after winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. (Photo Credit: Reddit)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 4 July 2024 5:15 AM GMT

When the 2024 Summer Olympics kick off at Paris later this month, all eyes will be on Neeraj Chopra. And the question on everyone's lips is the same - can he defend his Gold medal?

On Wednesday, The Bridge met with data analysts at the Inspire Institute of Sport in Karnataka's Bellary district and quizzed them on the probability of Chopra winning gold yet again.

"All the empirical data captured thus far show that Neeraj will medal at Paris 2024," said Darshan Shetty, an analyst at the institute's High-Performance Centre (HPC).

Data captured at the HPC enables analysts to track the progress of an athlete and helps build predictive models that can gauge the performance of an athlete in the future. And as per the analysts, all the data going into Paris 2024 does suggest that Chopra will secure a podium finish.

That said, the analysts do cite an unknown 'independent variable' in the form of 'uncertainty of the given day' that could well jeopardize the performance.

Therefore, while analysts are confident that Neeraj will medal in Paris 2024, the color of the medal will be hard to predict.

A serial winner

Neeraj is currently the reigning Olympic champion. He won the gold medal at the Covid-19 pandemic-delayed Olympics in Tokyo in 2021. He also won the World Championship gold in Budapest in 2023. This is apart from the Diamond League trophy in 2022 and Asian Games gold in Hangzhou in 2023.

This year, Neeraj opened his campaign at the Doha Diamond League where he finished second with an impressive throw of 88.36m on his final attempt, just two centimetres short of winner Vadlejch, the reigning Diamond League champion and silver medal winner from the Tokyo Olympics.

This was the second time Vadlejch pipped Neeraj to win the Doha Diamond League. Last year, as well he edged past Neeraj to win the Doha DL.

However, Neeraj won the Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar and emerged as champion in a strong field at the Paavo Nurmi Games.

Neeraj, whose personal best is 89.94m, clinched the javelin throw gold with a modest throw of 85.97m.

However, there are concerns over Neeraj's absence from the Paris Diamond League ahead of the Olympic Games.

'Neeraj is in excellent condition'

Neeraj, on Wednesday, took to X and clarified the reason for his absence from the DL. He said, "#ParisDL wasn't part of my competition calendar this season, so I haven't 'withdrawn' from it. I'm focusing on getting ready for the Olympic Games."

Earlier, Neeraj missed the Golden Spike Ostrava due to discomfort in his abductor muscle in May.

However, Spencer Mackay, the head of strength and conditioning at Inspire Institute of Sport, blew away any concerns about Neeraj's fitness.

"He is in excellent physical condition and well-prepared," Mackay told PTI.

"His past injuries and recent niggles are now an afterthought. When the Olympic finals begin, Neeraj will be in a fantastic position to win another medal for the country," he added.

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