Neeraj Chopra's gold in Lisbon: the story of the measuring equipment

The next stop for the 23-year-old will be Sweden where he will be in action in the Karlstad GP on June 22.

The Lisbon event was the first international competition Chopra has taken part in after qualifying for Tokyo Olympics in January last year in South Africa.   -  PTI

Returning to the international circuit after nearly one and half years, Neeraj Chopra felt his throws were good at the City of Lisbon athletics meet in Portugal on Saturday evening.

But strangely, the measuring equipment told a different story. “I felt there were some problems with the measurement. Despite good throws, the measuring equipment was not showing that. I felt that with my first two legal throws (first and fourth) but I did not object to that,” javelin thrower Chopra, India's brightest hope of winning its first-ever Olympic medal in athletics next month, told Sportstar from Lisbon on Friday.

And then he came up with a move that made a big difference. “Before the last throw, I told physio Ishaan to go near the 80m line to find out whether there was a problem with the distance. And when I threw, it looked something like 83m but they said it was just 78m so I told them to measure with a measuring tape. They measured and realised that it was an 83-plus throw.”

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That move by Chopra added a whopping five metres to his effort. He was finally given 83.18m for that throw which helped him win the Lisbon title comfortably.

“Obviously, he was a little frustrated during the whole thing. Everybody was,” said Manisha Malhotra, the head of sports excellence at JSW Sports which supports Chopra.

“There was a lot of confusion. They first said they had calibrated the (measuring) equipment but it was definitely not calibrated.”

The event was virtually a training competition for Chopra but he felt very good coming back to the international circuit.

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“It is very nice to be back, I am able to focus better now,” said the Asian Games champion who is currently No. 3 in the world list with his national record of 88.07m in Patiala in March.

The next stop for the 23-year-old will be Sweden where he will be in action in the Karlstad GP on June 22.

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