Neeraj Chopra clinched the gold medal in men’s javelin event at Asian Games 2023 with a season-best throw of 88.88m but the win was not without controversies. The very first attempt by the reigning world champion was a massive one and it looked that throw easily breached the 85m-mark. However, the organisers were not able to measure it due to a technical glitch and as a result, Neeraj had to take the throw once again. Following his gold medal win, Neeraj opened up about his feelings regarding the controversial incident and what he felt could have been the reason behind the confusion. (Asian Games Medals Tally)
“I was puzzled and confused, it has never happened in any competition I have competed in till now. I think they lost my landing mark and they kept on looking for it,” he was quoted by PTI.
“I did not have any other means, I thought there was no point arguing for long. I also thought it’s affecting the competition of other competitors. The other competitors were waiting and I need to respect them also. The wind was blowing and everybody was feeling cold. So, I thought I will take the throw later.”
“Rule says only six throws, but for the first time I got seven throws in a competition,” he said.
This was not the first time that Indian athletes were in the middle of a controversy during the Asian Games 2023. Jyothi Yarraji was initially disqualified during the 110m hurdles final but later, her bronze medal was upgraded to silver after the organisers found that a Chinese athlete was at fault.
“I felt bad that my first throw in such a big competition went like that. Jyothi ki saath bhi aisa huwa, mere saath garbar huwa hey. Jena ka ek throw mey bhi huwa (It happened with Jyothi, it happened with me as well. Even Jena faced it during a throw). So there were issues, but finally, I would say our results were good. Despite whatever has been done, we have shown that we came prepared.”
“Our team should certainly look into why there are so many issues we are facing, I have never seen these kinds of things in big competitions. I or some other athlete could have been mentally down after the first throw. Anything could happen. Jyothi also fought,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)
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