Mumbai : India’s newest Olympic hero Neeraj Chopra returns to competition at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.
The javelin thrower steps onto the field for the first time after securing India’s first gold in track & field at Tokyo Olympics coming Tuesday.
He will be up against his arch-rival Johannes Vetter and World champion Anderson Peters, who improved his personal best to 93.07 metres at the Diamond League in Doha.
For almost six months now, Neeraj has been away from home. This is not the first time he has done it. His life has revolved only around training, diets and throwing javelins. And nothing has changed because for an athlete, nothing can change and nothing must change.
Usually, these sporting stars do the most boring things behind the camera. Neeraj is no different, only that he does not treat himself as a star. Neeraj is not just an individual Olympics gold medallist from India, which in itself is a rarity in this country.
After all, there are only two. But he is also a realist, someone who understands privilege and luck in life and sport respectively. This is why you think he will not stop soon. This is why you think he is going to get another one.
This is why you feel he is near to that elusive 90m mark which is not far. For an athlete with such clarity and understanding of self, no task or challenge should be bigger.
This athletics event is Finland’s top track and field competition since 1957 and is part of the World Athletics Continental Tour meet.
Meanwhile in Jakarta, more than 25 Indian shuttlers will be in action starting at the BWF Indonesia Open 2022, including Lakshya Sen, H.S. Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu. Parupalli Kashyap meets Sameer Verma while Prannoy faces 8th seed Lakshya Sen in their opening fixtures.
In the women’s singles, Nehwal takes on 5th seed Carolina Marin in what could be the most epic Round 1 battle. Seventh-seeded Sindhu starts her campaign against Chinese shuttler HE Bing Jiao.