Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra has been ruled out of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, owing to an injury he sustained at the World Athletics Championships. 

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“Our Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra will not be defending his title at Birmingham 2022 due to concerns regarding his fitness. We wish him a speedy recovery & are supporting him in these challenging times,” the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said in a statement.

Soon after his last throw in Oregon, Chopra felt a sudden discomfort in his right upper leg, and underwent an MRI scan. While the exact nature of the injury is not yet known, Chopra was advised to take at least a month-long break. 

“Neeraj Chopra had called me earlier today from the US to convey his inability to take part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games owing to fitness concerns,” IOA Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta said. 

“Following his participation in the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, he had an MRI scan done on Monday and, based on it, he has been advised a month’s rest by his medical team,” he added.

At Oregon, Chopra overcame a rusty start before registering an 88.13-metre throw to win the silver medal at World Athletics Championships. Chopra was unable to breach the 90-m mark, attained twice in the event by the eventual champion Anderson Peters. 

In the post-match conference, Chopra had said that he could foresee some sort of injury, and doesn’t want to risk his body, especially with the Diamonds League final looming large.

“I could not put in as much effort after that,” Neeraj had said. “I strapped it up but some doubt did creep into my mind after that. Hopefully it is nothing serious but we will see.”

Chopra was supposed to lead the Indian contingent in Birmingham. In his absence, PV Sindhu, who has recently won the Singapore Open, is likely to be the flag-bearer. As far as the javelin throw is concerned, all eyes will be on Rohit Yadav, who was the second Indian to qualify for the finals at Eugene. 

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