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China does it again: Neeraj Chopra's first javelin throw goes unmeasured; India alleges 'cheating'
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China does it again: Neeraj Chopra's first javelin throw goes unmeasured; India alleges 'cheating'

| @indiablooms | 05 Oct 2023, 02:45 am

Hangzhou: A major dispute arose during Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra's javelin event at the Asian Games in China’s Hangzhou on Wednesday when his first attempt, a massive throw, was not measured by the Chinese officials.

The senior vice-president of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Anju Bobby George alleged that the Chinese officials were attempting to “cheat” and “deliberately targeting the Indians," according to a report in the media

Even though Chopra appeared to have easily surpassed the 85m mark, officials did not register his throw and did not furnish an explanation for the decision.

Neeraj Chopra said he was confused about why his first throw was not measured, while immediately after his attempt, the second and third competitors had their throws measured, the report said.

He continued to ask the officials what happened to his first throw but no satisfactory reason was provided.

Chopra shared that he was both puzzled and shocked, as such an incident had never occurred in any competition he had participated in before, the report said.

He felt that the officials might have lost track of the landing mark and were searching for it.

Kishore Jena, who also had a podium with a silver medal, initially had his second throw disqualified for crossing the line. However, this decision was subsequently overturned.

Anju Bobby George said she was told that winning in China was tough even if a participating country has the best athletes as the officials in the country are always up to some mischief and disturb athletes.

Chopra said that when he asked about the reason for not measuring his first throw, one of the officials explained that the second athlete after him had taken his throw immediately, which led to the error.

He was told that it was a very good throw, probably 87-88m.

Chopra underscored if the first throw goes well, it brings a lot of relief to the athlete.

Later the officials told Neeraj that he would be given another throw for the first attempt.

Known as a perfect gentleman, Chopra agreed to it, said the report.

Neeraj Chopra explained that he didn't have any alternative options, so he decided not to prolong the argument, according to the report.

He felt that the delay would impact other competitors and believed it was important to show respect to them.

Given the windy and cold conditions, he chose to postpone his throw.

He noted with a chuckle that, according to the rules, only six throws are allowed, but this time he got to make seven throws in the competition.

Chopra pointed out several other incidents of suspected unfair practices, such as the disqualification of 100m hurdler Jyothi Yarraji for a false start, which was later upgraded from bronze to silver, and the failure to measure Annu Rani's throwsaid the report.

Anju Bobby George also believed that one of the long jumper M Sreeshankar's jumps was not measured accurately. She felt it was better than 8.19m and also pointed out an official raised the red flag on one of his attempts unfairly.

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