Chopra ruled out from CWG


 Olympic champion and world championship silver medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games, which begin in Birmingham on Thursday.

Chopra, the defending CWG champion, had injured his groin during the World Championship final in Eugene, USA, on Saturday. He underwent a MRI scan the following day and was subsequently advised one-month rest by the doctors, according to Rajeev Mehta, the Secretary-General of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

The 24-year-old athlete was set to be India’s flag-bearer during Thursday’s opening ceremony. Mehta said a decision on the new flag-bearer will be taken soon in consultation with other IOA office-bearers.

In Chopra’s absence it will be up to D.P. Manu and Rohit Yadav to try and finish on the podium. However, it won’t be easy because of the presence of Peters, the world champion and 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott. Also in the mix will be Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, who finished fifth at the World Championships. Manu has a personal best of 84.35 metres, while Yadav’s best is 82.54m.

Chopra had said after Saturday’s final, where he won the silver medal, that he would be able to gauge the extent of his injury once his body cools down, and had hinted he wouldn’t take any risks vis-à-vis the CWG.

It’s something he has been cautious about after suffering an elbow injury three years ago, which kept him out of action for a prolonged period. Post-surgery, Chopra stopped punishing his body if he felt a strain or there was discomfort. He had been out of action for a year and couldn’t risk another injury. “He knows how to prevent injury,” his physio Ishaan Marwaha said.

The injury also puts a question mark over Chopra’s Diamond League participation. Chopra was to participate in the Lausanne Diamond League on 26 August. He had finished second in Stockholm and was aiming to qualify for the final in Zurich on 7 and 8 September. During the media conference just after winning the World Championships silver, Chopra had spoken about a Diamond League title as a major goal.

At Stockholm he had finished second behind Grenada’s Anderson Peters. The Stockholm meeting on 30 June was the first time Chopra had finished in the top 3 in a Diamond League meeting.