Neeraj Chopra withdraws from Top Athletics Lucerne

Ace Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has pulled out the Top Athletics event in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Neeraj won the Karlstad Open and finished third at the Kuortane Games in Finland. - AP

Ace Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has pulled out of the Top Athletics event in Lucerne, Switzerland. This would have been his third event of the week after winning the Karlstad Open in Sweden and finishing third at the Kuortane Games in Finland.

Adille Sumariwalla, president of the Athletics Federation of India, told Sportstar: "There is no injury. It was a decision taken by the team that he should not participate. It's a matter of strategy." He added: "The coach felt there was no need for a third event (of the week). They have seen whatever they wanted to and now they want to start training."

Neeraj, 23, reached Portugal in the first week of June in search of more competitions and has been on the road since.

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He began his international season by winning the City of Lisbon athletics meet with a best throw of 82.18m on June 10 and followed it up with a below-average performance of 80.96m at the Karlstad Open in Sweden. The reigning Asian and Commonwealth Games champion then managed only two clean throws and finished third with 86.79m at the Kuortane Games in Finland.

 

The Top Athletics event in Lucerne was expected to be a good test for the Indian he was once again going to compete against 2017 world champion and Tokyo Olympics gold medal favourite Johannes Vetter and 2012 London Olympics gold-medallist Keshorn Walcott. Both Vetter and Walcott had beaten Neeraj at the Kuortane Games as season-leader Vetter threw 93.59m, while Walcott registered a best throw of 89.12m.

Neeraj is likely to next be in action at the Diamond League event in Gateshead on July 13. Vetter has already confirmed that he too will participate at the Diamond League event in Gateshead.

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