All eyes on Neeraj Chopra to clinch India's maiden Continental Cup medal

On current form, Neeraj appears to be the third best man in the fray in the javelin event at the IAAF Continental Cup, which begins in Ostrava on Saturday.

Neeraj Chopra set a new Indian record with a throw of 88.06m at the Asian Games – the fourth time he’s broken the national mark this year.   -  AFP

After showing his prowess at the Asian Games with a national record-breaking throw of 88.06m to clinch the gold and coming quite close to clinching a medal at the Diamond League finals in Zurich, Neeraj Chopra will be looking to add another first to his list of achievements.

Indians in Action (IST)

Saturday (Sept. 8)

18:55 IST - P.U. Chitra - 1500m

20:42 - Jinson Johnson - 800m  

Sunday (Sept. 9)

18:30 - Arpinder Singh - Triple Jump

19:27 - Md Anas - 400m

19:35 - Neeraj Chopra - Javelin Throw

19:40  - Sudha Singh - 3000m Steeplechase

 

READ: Chopra misses bronze by a whisker

The javelin thrower has a good chance of winning the country’s first-ever medal at the IAAF Continental Cup which begins in Ostrava, the Czech Republic, on Saturday.

The javelin field includes Germany’s world’s top two throwers, the recent Diamond League finals winner Andreas Hoffman and the Olympic champion Thomas Rohler. On current form, Neeraj appears to be the third best man in the fray.

But Rohler, who has a personal best of 93.90m — which came in Doha last year — and a season best of 91.78 once again in the Qatari capital in May, appears to be a weary man if his Diamond League finals performance (85.76m) is any indication. A silver is a realistic possibility.

ALSO READ: Mission 90m for Neeraj Chopra

After a long time, the Continental Cup will feature six Indians with the others being Asian champion Arpinder Singh (triple jump), silver medallists Jinson Johnson (800m, he will not be running the 1500m where he won the Asiad gold), Muhammed Anas (400m), Sudha Singh (3000m steeplechase) and bronze medallist P.U. Chitra (1500m). 

Hima Das, the Asiad 400m silver medallist who played a big part in the women’s 4x400m relay triumph, was also among the initial entries but the Athletics Federation of India pulled her out of the event to give the junior world champion some rest.

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The Ostrava event is the third edition of the Continental Cup, known as the World Cup earlier, and will feature the best athletes from Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.