Neeraj Chopra, who just won India’s first-ever silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham due to an injury. Neeraj had complained of groyne pain following the 88.13m throw that earned him silver in the men’s javelin final on Sunday.
According to IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta, the reigning Olympic champion has been advised to take a month off. “Team India javelin thrower Mr Neeraj Chopra called me earlier today from the United States to express his inability to compete in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games due to fitness concerns,” Mehta said.
“Following his participation in the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Mr Chopra had an MRI scan done on Monday, and his medical team has advised him to rest for a month,” Mehta added.
Chopra was set to be India’s flag bearer at the Games, which begin on Thursday.
“We’ll have a meeting later in the day to decide who will be the new flagbearer,” India team chef de mission Rajesh Bhandari said.
This is a major setback for India’s medal prospects, as Neeraj was one of the favourites to win gold in the men’s javelin event. He rose to prominence after winning gold at the previous CWG event at the age of 20.
Neeraj has been rewriting record books ever since. He became independent India’s first track and field athlete to win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Haryana-born javelin thrower then broke his own national record twice, first with an 89.30m throw in the Paavo Nurmi games and then with an 89.94m throw in the Diamond League in Stockholm almost a year later.