'I'm so sorry': Anderson Peters' message for Neeraj Chopra
The injured Neeraj Chopra, who was beaten to the gold medal at the World Championships by Peters last week, receives a wish from his old friend and rival.
Defending champion Neeraj Chopra will not be able to hold on to his Commonwealth Games title because of an injury, making his old friend and rival Anderson Peters the runaway favourite to win the gold medal in Birmingham. But Peters is not happy that his duel with Neeraj will not have another chapter at the 2022 CWG.
Peters had won the bronze medal at the last CWG, where Neeraj had won gold. The Grenadian has come up by leaps and bounds since then and his 90m+ throws were out of Neeraj's reach at the World Athletics Championships last week.
"I'm so sorry to hear that my friend and rival Neeraj Chopra will not be attempting to defend his commonwealth games title because of injury. I really hope you can recover quickly so that we can meet and continue completing an a high level for the sport of javelin," said Peters in a social media post.
Separated by just two months when it comes to age, both the 24-year-olds started their careers together. Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal at the 2016 World Under-20 Championships, where Peters had to settle for bronze. The two also participated in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where also Neeraj got gold while Peters got bronze. At the Olympics, Peters could not even qualify for the final.
At the Worlds, Peters got the better of Neeraj, even though the Indian still has a better head-to-head record. Both will have to wait for their next duel, which may come about at the Diamond League final later this year.
Neeraj pulled out of the 2022 CWG due to a groin injury, leaving DP Manu and Rohit Yadav as the two Indians flying the tricolour in javelin throw. Manu and Yadav have the fourth and fifth highest throws of the year among CWG athletes and one of them could end up in the medal spots. Going beyond Peters' 90m throws, however, might be a few metres too far for them.