Neeraj Chopra wins silver medal at the World Athletics Championships 2022

TURKU, Finland (June 12) – India’s Neeraj Chopra, the Tokyo Olympic champion in javelin throw, has been forced to withdraw from the Paavo Nurmi Games 2023 due to a muscle strain. This setback comes after he also pulled out of the 2023 FBK Games in the Netherlands earlier this month, both times due to the same injury.

What is the extent of Neeraj Chopra’s muscle strain?

Chopra, who had announced last month that he had suffered a muscle strain during training, had initially hoped to make a comeback at the Paavo Nurmi Stadium. However, he has chosen to prioritize his recovery and take precautionary measures, opting to delay his return while he continues to receive treatment.

The talented athlete began his season on a high note, securing a victory at the Diamond League series opener in Doha with a world-leading throw of 88.67 meters. He had been aiming to build on this performance but unfortunately, the injury has disrupted his plans.

In a social media post before his withdrawal from the Hengelo meeting, Chopra acknowledged the challenges of dealing with injuries, stating, “Injuries are part of the journey, but it’s never easy. I am on the road to recovery and will aim to be back.”

Chopra’s absence from the Paavo Nurmi Games means he will not have the opportunity to seek redemption for his second-place finish in the event last year. In 2022, he was beaten by Finland’s Oliver Helander, who recorded a winning throw of 89.83 meters while Chopra managed 89.30 meters.

Oliver Helander seeks to defend title from last year

This year, Helander will return to defend his title, facing tough competition from the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, the Olympic silver medalist, who currently holds the second best throw of the season with 88.63 meters.

Other notable participants include Germany’s European champion Julian Weber, London 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott, USA’s world championships finalist Curtis Thompson, and eight-time Belgian champion Timothy Herman.

Neeraj Chopra’s focus will now shift towards the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, scheduled for August.

With the aim of maintaining his fitness and avoiding any setbacks, he is expected to skip the 2023 National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, which will take place from June 15th to 19th.

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