Neeraj Chopra qualifies for Tokyo Olympics with big throw in South Africa

Andrew Amsan

Chopra had planned to go full throttle on his return to India in April last year, from Potchefstroom where the elite athletes camp was being held. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

India's top javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, recovering from an elbow surgery, breached the Olympic qualification mark of 85m with an 87.86m throw in his fourth attempt at a javelin meet in Potchefstroom in South Africa on Wednesday. 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. "We have spoken to the South African Athletics Association and they have confirmed that it is a recognised international meet. Therefore, Neeraj's attempt will earn him a quota place for the 2020 Olympics," Devesh Bhal, operations manager, Athletics Federation of India, told The Indian Express.

Chopra had planned to go full throttle on his return to India in April last year, from Potchefstroom where the elite athletes camp was being held. However, the star javelin thrower had been feeling soreness in his right elbow since November 2018 which had restricted his throwing to near zilch when he was away in South Africa. He went under the knife in May 2019 and was out of action for a long time.