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AFI not worried by javelin thrower Chopra's modest showing

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Saturday said it is not losing sleep over ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s modest performances in warm-up competitions ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The Lisbon competition on Thursday was low key, but more important was to start at some level. Since Chopra is based out of Europe, we are hopeful he would get to compete in three-four quality competitions in coming weeks before the Olympics,” an AFI official told IANS.

Chopra’s opening throw in Lisbon on Thursday was 80.71m while his sixth and last throw was 83.18m. Chopra generally averages around 85 metres with his throws.

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Initially, Chopra’s last throw was measured as 78.15m, but due to faulty measuring device, it was later changed to 83.18m. The AFI official refused to speak on the technical issue.

The AFI official said it is difficult to make a concrete plan for the Olympic-bound squad since the other Indian athletes aren’t getting any opportunities to compete on foreign soil due to the pandemic in India.

“The situation is changing rapidly. The elite Indian athletes were supposed to compete in Bishkek this weekend but due to 14-day quarantine rule (for Indians), the tour was cancelled,” said the AFI official on condition of anonymity.

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AFI is organising the fourth Indian Grand Prix meet on June 21 in Patiala. The National Inter-State Athletics Championships is also scheduled to be held in Patiala from June 25.

“The domestic competitions will give athletes a chance to make cut for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said a senior athletics coach.

–IANS

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