Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra will return to competition after almost a year at the 59th National Open athletics championships which begin in Ranchi on Thursday.
Chopra, who underwent elbow surgery last year and skipped the World Championship in Doha, will be among a clutch of star athletes who will be in action, The Hindu reported on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, the entry list has undergone a big change a day after was published with most of these names missing after a clear directive from the Athletics Federation of India.
“Many were not happy about it but there was a threat that those who skip the Ranchi meet would not be included in the national camp,” a top coach was quoted as saying by the paper. “So, they had no option but to go.”
The prominent stars who will be seen in action immediately after the world championships include 400m runner, VK Vismaya, javelin thrower Annu Rani, long jumper M Sreeshankar and Asian Games shot put gold medallist Tajinderpal Singh Toor.
However, steeplechaser Avinash Sable, who qualified for the Olympics, and Asian Games 1500 gold medallist Jinson Johnson are doubtful starters.
Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh and triple jumper Arpinder Singh would be giving the tournament a miss as the former is suffering from ankle pain while the latter needs a longer break before the next season.