New Delhi: India's leading javelin throwers who are currently training at the Olympics Training Centre in Spala, Poland will be eyeing a secure their 2016 Olympics berth in two different qualification competitions to be held in Halle (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland) on May 21.
Neeraj Chopra, the promising 18-year-old athlete who came close to achieving the Olympics qualifying standard at the 2016 SAF Games with a throw of 82.23m, has been invited to throw in the prestigious Halle meet that is extended to only the top-20 ranked men throwers in the world.
Earlier, in the first week of their training in Europe, three of the javelin throwers competed in the prestigious Rehlingen Germany Weltklasse meet.
Chopra finished fifth in the meet with a throw of 79.51 metres in a world-class competition where four Germans finished with a winning throw of 84 metres.
The 2014 Asian Games bronze medallists Annu Rani threw 54.75 metres while Suman Devi had a best throw of 52.71 metres in a field which featured the world No. 2 Christine Obergfall and No. 3 Christine Hussong of Germany.
India's foreign expert for javelin throw, coach Garry Calvert from Australia, said his wards performances were affected by the cold condition.
Commenting on the qualification plan for Indian javelin throwers, Calvert said, "Indian track and field is on the rise and to have European coaches and athletes sit with us, sends a wonderful message that we are being welcomed and encouraged at the top meets. The next step is to take part in these big events and give great experience to our athletes as they prepare to take on future big events."
In addition to the Halle invitation for Neeraj Chopra and the other throwers to compete in Warsaw, which is a 90-minute drive from Spala, the Australian coach revealed that he has already lined up a competition for Indian throwers in Belgium on May 28, and three more meets there in June.
"There are competitions within Europe that become available within two to five days which depend on withdrawals and late invitations. This is the dynamics of world level in track and field, with at times 40-50 entries for 12 positions," said Calvert.
"Over the next few weeks, Neeraj is expected to be in competition fitness as he will be competing in some very challenging meets, while Vipin Kasana, who won the gold medal in the 2016 Federation Cup (76.42 metres) is working on increasing his strength level and has taken a great liking for the facilities at Spala and the natural forest surrounding the camp," he added.
India's top women javelin thrower Annu Rani and Suman Devi are totally focused at the Spala training camp.
National record holder Rajender Singh (82.23m) and Shivpal Singh (PB: 79.77m) reached Spala yesterday from Delhi.
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Updated Date: May 19, 2016 22:38:48 IST