Patiala: Making a strong return to the domestic competition circuit, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra outclassed the field to claim the gold medal at the Run Adam Indian Grand Prix-1 on Tuesday while an unnamed javelin thrower had to pull out of the event after failing a dope test.
Chopra threw the spear a distance of 82.88m at the National Institute of Sports to finish well ahead of Vipin Kasana's 80.04m that bagged him a silver while Amit Kumar took the bronze with a 77.33m throw.
It was a much-anticipated result for Chopra, who was taking part in his first competition since his return from Offenburg in Germany, where the 20-year-old had been training with Werner Daniels.
After a three month stint, Chopra has since returned to the national camp where he has resumed training with former world record holder Uwe Hohn.
Chopra was not the only athlete to impress though as shot putter Tajinder Pal Toor claimed gold in the men's shot put with a best throw of 19.95m.
Toor finished ahead of Naveen Chikkara who threw the put 19.08m while the bronze went to Paramjeet Singh who only managed 16.74m.
Two athletes also join Chopra in meeting the AFI qualifying guidelines for the Commonwealth Games. Long jumper Nayana James and women's discus thrower Navjeet Dhillon also managed to meet the minimum requirement.
However, a top unnamed javelin thrower had to pull out of the event after failing an out of competition dope test. According to The Indian Express, the AFI was notified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAFF) with the AFI subsequently striking off the athlete's name from the start list.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the athlete in question has failed a dope test. had last year failed a dope test but was allowed to compete because the substance did not attract a provisional suspension. The athlete has been part of the national camp and was training with German coach Uwe Hohn in Patiala.
"The AFI received a communication from the IAAF that this particular athlete had failed a dope test. This is a new incident and not related to the athlete's previous case. The athlete's name was removed from the start list for the very same reason. The athlete was informed about the result," a top AFI official told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
James carried on from the form that saw her winning silver at the Asian Indoor Championships by claiming gold in Patiala with a best jump of 6.47m. She finished ahead of Nina Pinto who cleared 6.41m. Purnima Hembram also managed to step on the podium with a best effort of 5.99m.
Dhillon, a former World Junior bronze medalist, too delivered a personal best effort of 59.18m to inch past the AFI qualifying guidelines of 59m.
Also coming close to the qualifying guideline was triple jumper Rakesh Babu. The Kerala jumper managed a best of 16.59m coming a centimetre short of the AFI standard of 16.60m.
However, Babu's effort was good enough to win gold, edging past Commonwealth bronze medalist Arpinder Singh who managed a best of 16.45m. National record holder Renjith Maheshwary finished third with a jump of 16.09m.
Amongst the other bright performers of the day was MP Jabir who claimed the 400m hurdles gold with a time of 50.60seconds, just shy of his personal best of 50.22m. Jabir finished ahead of Santhosh Kumar (50.85 seconds) and Binu Jose (52.77seconds).
Upcoming triple jumper Renu produced a mini-upset on the day. Her jump of 13.26m was enough to pip the 13.08m effort of NV Sheena, a silver medalist at last month's Asian Indoor Championships in Tehran.
Teenager Hima Das too gave a strong account of herself with a personal best timing of 11.74 seconds in the women's 100m race. Das took silver behind gold medalist Dutee Chand who clocked 11.57 seconds.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 10:58 AM