Neeraj Chopra pulls out of National Open Athletics Championships at last minute; AFI says javelin thrower not 'competition ready'

FP Sports

Just as Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was about to make a comeback at the 59th National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi, the 21-year-old was asked to withdraw his participation after coaches felt he had not recovered sufficiently following elbow surgery in May.

Sportstar quoted Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla as saying, "this is a collective decision by the national coaches, our German experts and federation officials. We don't think he is competition ready."

Earlier, the AFI had itself allowed Chopra to participate in the competition and even tweeted about his comeback.

"Back in business, "Back in business, everyone's superstar, the one and only€¦ Neeraj Chopra is all set to take the field at 59th National Open Senior Athletics Championships at Ranchi," the AFI tweeted on Wednesday.

Keen on making a comeback, the athlete was also quoted in an AFI release as saying: "I really want to get back to the competition mode. And since this is the last competition of the season, I want to use it to get into that feeling of competition".

Reportedly, Chopra also wanted to participate in the World Championships in Doha in September but was denied by the AFI as the body felt that he had not fully recovered.

He has not yet qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. The qualification period for the event began on 1 May, 2019. Chopra, a Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallist, last took part in the Services Athletics Championships on 19 September in Jalahalli last year.

Also See: World Athletics Championships 2019: India's Annu Rani calls for equal opportunities for women in sports after eighth place finish in javelin throw

World Athletics Championships 2019: Andreas Hofmann puts Rio 2016 setback behind as Tokyo 2020 appears on horizon

World Athletics Championships 2019: Annu Rani breaks national record to become first Indian woman to reach javelin finals

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