Neeraj Chopra is a Olympic gold medallist.© AFP
Tokyo Olympics champion Neeraj Chopra is all set for his much-awaited return to competitive action at the Paavo Nurmi Games 2022, to be held here at the Paavo Nurmi Stadium in Turku, Finland on Tuesday. The Indian javelin superstar has not competed since winning his historic gold medal at Tokyo 2020. The 24-year-old’s return to the field, however, will be nothing short of baptism by fire. The Paavo Nurmi Games, a gold event in the World Athletics Continental Tour, is one of the biggest track-and-field competitions outside the Diamond League and this year’s event has a super stacked field.
Besides Neeraj Chopra, reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad and Tobago will feature in the 10-athlete men’s javelin throw competition in Turku.
German ace Johannes Vetter, Chopra’s arch-rival, was initially set to compete at Turku but has withdrawn. His compatriots Julian Weber and Andreas Hofmann, however, are on the entry list.
Out of competitive action for almost 10 months, Neeraj Chopra will have his work cut out for him against a star-studded field, most of whom have been in full-fledged competitive mode.
Both Peters and Vadlejch have breached the 90m mark this season at the Doha Diamond League. Peters’ gold medal-winning throw of 93.07m at Doha is the season’s best in 2022.
Chopra, the only Indian competing at the Paavo Nurmi Games, will look to ease himself back in form heading into next month’s World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games.
After Turku, Neeraj Chopra will compete at the Kuortane Games in Finland before heading to Sweden for the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League.
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