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Federation Cup: Back home, Neeraj takes it easy

When Neeraj Chopra last competed in India, he was five months away from becoming a global superstar in his sport. In the three years since that memorable night in Tokyo - when he became only the second individual Olympic gold medalist from India - he has established himself as one of the most consistent javelin throwers in the world, as evidenced by his two World Championship medals - including a historic gold - Diamond League trophy and a successful defense of the crown at the Asian Games. With this background, it was no wonder that the unusual return of the poster boy of Indian sport was eagerly awaited.

Federation Cup: Back home, Neeraj takes it easy

When Neeraj Chopra last competed in India, he was five months away from becoming a global superstar in his sport. In the three years since that memorable night in Tokyo - when he became only the second individual Olympic gold medalist from India - he has established himself as one of the most consistent javelin throwers in the world, as evidenced by his two World Championship medals - including a historic gold - Diamond League trophy and a successful defense of the crown at the Asian Games. With this background, it was no wonder that the unusual return of the poster boy of Indian sport was eagerly awaited.



As Chopra arrived at the Kalinga Stadium in a three-car cavalcade an hour later than expected, security was beefed up around the stadium. With arms raised and a knowing nod, he entered the practice area accompanied by compatriots DP Manu and Kishore Kumar Jena. That was enough to send the small but enthusiastic audience into a frenzy. However, the actual competition fell short of expectations. With a record of 87.80 metres, the 26-year-old did just enough on a steamy Bhubaneswar evening to win the Federation Cup, an event he had previously won in Patiala in 2021. Chopra won with a fourth period throw of 82.27 metres. finished second in the Doha Diamond League last week with a performance of 88.36 meters in his season opener. After that attempt, he was seen consulting physiotherapist Ishaan Marwa and trainer and biomechanics specialist Klaus Bartonietz before deciding not to try again. Chopra was remarkably parsimonious in his throws, lacking his signature body roll to give the javelin more momentum.


 

By his standards, a run of 82m, x, 81.29 and 82.27m seems low, but there was very little resistance from the two-time world medalist. Only DP Manu, who led through the first three throws, managed to reach 80 meters or more, apart from Chopra. Manu, who won the India I Grand Prix last month with a throw of 81.91 metres, has attempted to qualify directly for the Olympics. in Paris (85.50 meters). He performed a sequence of 82.06 meters, 77.23 meters, 81.43 meters, 81.47 meters, x, x, but the Olympic entry standard remained beyond his reach. 


 

Afterwards, Chopra mentioned that one of the reasons for his subpar performance was the sweltering heat. Known for consistently throwing over 85 meters, he said the hot and muggy weather didn't make his body react the way he had hoped. "While competing at home was nice, there's not much to say about my throws. The conditions are very different where I train in Turkey. The body wasn't as nice, but the competition was great. My rest and recovery didn't go as planned because I Doha did not participate until recently, so I decided not to go to the last two races, regardless of the result. 



Chopra will next participate in the Zlatá tretra competition in Ostrava, where Anderson Peters and Jakub Vadlejch will probably participate world and I'm really looking forward to it," he declared. "I'm concentrating on a number of foreign events before Paris. After Ostrava, the Paavo Nurmi Games will come in Turku, Finland (June 18). After Turku, I will call for other competitions," he declared. The best javelin throwers are expected at the Continental Tour gold competitions in Ostrava and Turku. Local boy and Asian Games silver medalist Kishore Kumar Jena also fell short when he achieved a throw of more than 75 meters. He has the following ranks : x, 75.49, x, 73.79, 75.25 Jena started her Diamond League season with a best performance of 76.31m and finished outside the top eight at the previous year's Asian Games in Hangzhou .54 m.

 


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