Defending Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra will not be competing at the Birmingham 2022 edition, the Indian Olympic Association said

Chopra, who had won a historic silver medal at the World Championships in Oregon, felt some discomfort on his right upper leg region towards the end of the event.

“Our Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra will not be defending his title at Birmingham 2022 due to concerns regarding his fitness. We wish him a speedy recovery & are supporting him in these challenging times,” the IOA’s Twitter account said in a statement.

The exact nature and extent of the injury is not yet known officially.

“Neeraj Chopra had called me earlier today from the US to convey his inability to take part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games owing to fitness concerns,” IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in a statement. “Following his participation in the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, he had an MRI scan done on Monday and, based on it, he has been advised a month’s rest by his medical team.”

Statement by Neeraj Via his Twitter handle

“I could not put in as much effort after that,” Neeraj had said in the press interaction after his silver medal in Eugene. “I strapped it up but some doubt did creep into my mind after that. Hopefully it is nothing serious but we will see.”

According to a report in the Indian Express, Neeraj was set to be the flagbearer of the Indian contingent at the Opening Ceremony.

The original squad named by Athletics Federation of India included three male javelin throwers in Neeraj Chopra, DP Manu and Rohit Yadav (all three have crossed the 80m mark this season already). Rohit had reached the final of the World Championships along with Neeraj recently while Manu has a season best throw of 84.35m.

World Champion Anderson Peters had said after the meet in Oregon that he was headed to Birmingham and he would now be the overwhelming favourite to win gold. The two Indian athletes could be in contention for a podium finish if they can find their best.

Men's JT season's top 10 among CWG nations

Mark Competitor Nat Venue Date
93.07 Anderson PETERS GRN Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha (QAT) 13 MAY 2022
89.94 Neeraj CHOPRA IND Olympiastadion, Stockholm (SWE) 30 JUN 2022
89.07 Keshorn WALCOTT TTO Blankers-Koen Stadion, Hengelo (NED) 06 JUN 2022
86.16 Arshad NADEEM PAK Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 23 JUL 2022
84.35 D.P MANU IND Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai (IND) 11 JUN 2022
82.54 Rohit YADAV IND Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai (IND) 11 JUN 2022
82.18 Sumedha RANASINGHE SRI Diyagama (SRI) 23 APR 2022
82.13 Yash Vir SINGH IND Bhubaneshwar (IND) 24 MAY 2022
81.96 Cameron MCENTYRE AUS Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 22 APR 2022
81.36 Waldo SMIT RSA Mestský Stadion Sletište, Kladno (CZE) 14 JUN 2022

The next Diamond League meeting with men’s javelin is in Silesia on August 6 which now seems out of the question. If it’s a month’s rest for Neeraj, the Lausanne meeting is on August 26, exactly a month from now. Having said recently that the Diamond League Final is an event he has his eyes on for this season, it is going to be touch and go for the Indian star to participate in Zurich, as he would need more qualification points from Lausanne on August 26.

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