Saturday, July 23 was a day when India witnessed both, victory & setback. On one hand, 18-year-old Neeraj Chopra shattered the Javelin Throw World Record, becoming the first Indian sportsperson in this category to win a title at the World U-20 Athletics Championship. The Javelin Thrower’s second throw of 86.48m broke the old mark of 84.69m set by European Champion Zigsimunds Sirmais of Latvia.
Although Chopra bettered the Rio qualifying mark of 83m, it came too late as the deadline for meeting the Olympics norm was July 11. “My ultimate target was to qualify for the Olympics, but I didn’t make it. My other goal was to win at the World U-20 Championships,” he said.
On the other hand, wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was going to represent India at the Rio Olympics in the 74kg category, was provisionally suspended for six months for failing a dope test. The 26-year-old tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) Director General Navin Agarwal said both urine samples of Narsingh Yadav tested positive.
Narsingh cried foul. “This is a conspiracy against me. I have never taken any banned substance,” he said. The Mumbai-based wrestler, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, was training at the national camp at the Sports Authority of India’s centre in Sonepat, Haryana.