The 24-year-old superstar was set to defend his title in Birmingham but pulled out of the multi-sport event after his medical team advised him to rest for a month after an MRI showed a minor injury.
“…I am hurt that I will not be able to defend my title and miss another opportunity to represent the nation. I am particularly disappointed to have lost the opportunity to be Team India’s flag bearer at the ceremony. opening night, an honor I was looking forward to having in a few days,” Chopra wrote on her social media.
“For now, I will be focusing on my rehabilitation and I hope to be back in action very soon. I want to thank the whole country for all the love and support I have received over the past few days. , and urge you all to join me in encouraging my fellow athletes from Team India to birmingham over the next few weeks. Jai Hind.
—Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) 1658860906000
The development is a huge setback for the country’s CWG campaign, as Chopra is a strong medal contender, but not a sure favorite for gold. Anderson Peters of Grenada, who beat Chopra for gold at the World Championships in Eugene, USA on Sunday, also competes in the CWG.
Peters had won a bronze medal at the last Commonwealth Games in 2018 in Gold Coast where Chopra won gold.
Chopra’s injury and withdrawal will mean the long-awaited clash with Peters won’t happen in Birmingham.
Chopra became only the second Indian athlete to medal at the World Championship after Anju Bobby George, who won a bronze medal in the long jump in 2003 in Paris.
After her silver medal in the 88.13m throw on the fourth attempt, Chopra felt pain in her right thigh and her worst fears came true.
Our Olympic champion @Neeraj_chopra1 will not be defending his title at @birminghamcg22 due to concerns over his… https://t.co/rbG1qQWBNg
— Team India (@WeAreTeamIndia) 1658818223000
“I thought even the fourth throw could have gone further. After that I felt something on my thigh and couldn’t do my best in the next two. I had strapping (on the thigh),” Chopra said after her event.
The injury and month-long rehabilitation also means that Chopra’s season is pretty much over. He had kept his options open to participate in the Monaco (August 10) and Lausanne (August 26) stages of the prestigious Diamond League Meetings series after the CWG. He had said earlier that he would like to make it to the Diamond League Finals and become champion.
This year’s Diamond League final is scheduled for September 2-3 in Zurich.
At the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League fixtures on June 30, Chopra finished second with a best throw of 89.94m behind Peters who won the event with a massive effort of 90.31m.
Chopra said he had discussions with his support team, the IOA, AFI and SAI’s CAIMS and collectively decided to skip the CWG, keeping in mind his long-term goals and to avoid risking further aggravation of the injury.
“After being medically investigated yesterday by a group of doctors here in the United States, a minor strain was discovered and I have been advised to undergo rehabilitation and rest for the next few weeks. “, added Chopra.
On Tuesday, Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said Chopra underwent an MRI in the United States and was told a month off.
“Team India javelin thrower Mr. Neeraj Chopra had called me earlier in the day from the United States to inform me of his inability to participate in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games due to fitness issues,” Mehta said.
“Following his participation in the 2022 World Championships in Athletics in Eugene, Mr. Chopra had an MRI on Monday and, based on this, his medical team advised him a month of rest,” added Mehta.
Chopra was also the flag bearer for the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.