The best bet
THE WEEK|August 01, 2021
NEERAJ CHOPRA, THE REIGNING COMMONWEALTH AND ASIAN GAMES CHAMPION, COULD SCRIPT A NEW CHAPTER IN INDIAN ATHLETICS
NEERU BHATIA

On the shoulders of the 23-year-old javelin thrower from Panipat rests India's hopes of an elusive medal. The Athletics Federation of India has fielded a 26-member team for Tokyo 2020, and Neeraj Chopra is the prime and, perhaps, the lone contender for a medal. No Indian athlete has ever had an Olympic podium finish; Chopra is expected to change that and script a new chapter in Indian athletics.

On June 10, Chopra, thanks to the Sports Authority of India and sponsors JSW Sports, competed for the first time in over a year at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa in Lisbon, where, despite the slippery runway and other issues, he struck gold with a throw of 83.18m. The Lisbon event was a warm-up for two subsequent competitions. It was also a ticket to compete in Europe and gain exposure ahead of Tokyo 2020. The men’s javelin throw is scheduled for August 4 and 7.

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