Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Chopra will compete on June 10
NEW DELHI: Olympic-bound star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has reached Portugal to take part in an event in Lisbon on June 10, which will mark his return to international competition after more than a year.
Chopra, who has not taken part in any international event after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in January last year in South Africa, reached Lisbon on Sunday. He will compete at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa (Meeting, City of Lisbon) on June 10 at Lisbon University Stadium.
“Chopra will take part in a competition in Lisbon on June 10. We are trying for other events also, including the Karlstad Grand Prix in Sweden on June 22,” a source close to Chopra told PTI on Monday.
“In Lisbon, he will be able to train as well as take part in competition. That is the most important thing as many countries have stipulated hard quarantine for arriving Indians.” The CEO of JSW Sports, Chopra’s sponsors, Parth Jindal said the reigning Asian and Commonwealth Games champion has reached Portugal.
“After relentless efforts from @Thejswgroup Delhi office countless follow ups through @Kirenrijiju office and MEA @jswsports is happy to share that both @Neeraj_chopra1 and @Bajrangpunia have arrived in Portugal and Russia respectively to further their training,” he tweeted. Sports Minister appreciated the effort of JSW Group.
“I appreciate the relentless efforts of @Thejswgroup in supporting our elite athletes through @jswsports and involvement of @Parthjindal11 at personal level too.
“This kind of support from our corporate sector will help India emerge as a great sporting nation.” Chopra had spoken about lack of competition hampering his Olympic build-up during an interaction a few weeks ago.
The 23-year-old was to leave for Europe on Monday last for a training-cum-competition stint but it was delayed by a few days due to visa related issues. Chopra had broken his own national record with a throw of 88.07m in Patiala in the Indian Grand Prix 3 in March. He had qualified for the Olympics with a throw of 87.86m, which bettered the qualifying mark of 85m, at an event at Potchefstroom, South Africa, in January last year. After that, he had a brief training stint in Turkey before rushing back home in March last year just before the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Indian women’s archery team, led by former world number one Deepika Kumari, reached Paris on Monday to compete in their Final Olympic Qualification event on June 20. The women’s trio of Deepika, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari will have to finish in top-3 to make the last available berth for the Tokyo Olympics which opens on July 23. “The Indian women archers are going through a mandatory 10-day quarantine. They went ahead of the men’s team because of the qualifiers,” Archery Association of India assistant secretary Gunjan Abrol told PTI.
Sergio Pérez wins Azerbaijan GP
BAKU: Sergio Pérez won the Azerbaijan GP in a two-lap shootout after championship leader Max Verstappen crashed while leading with a tyre failure and Lewis Hamilton went off course trying to seize the win on the standing restart. Verstappen was four laps away from a second victory when his Red Bull suddenly slammed hard into the wall with a puncture to his left rear tyre. Pérez was the leader but Hamilton shot past him in his attempt to win the race. But he failed to brake in the first corner and his Mercedes slid off track. Hamilton dropped to 15th, snapping a streak of 54 consecutive races of earning a points position. Sebastian Vettel took second to give Aston Martin its first ever podium after qualifying 11th. It was Vettel’s highest finish since 2019. Pierre Gasly was third for Alphatauri as all three made their first trip to the podium this season.