Indian ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who was supposed to board a flight on Tuesday for his training and competition stint in Europe has been delayed due to paperwork issues and also lack of clarity regarding quarantine rules. It is a big blow for the track and field athlete who is considered as one of India’s biggest hopes at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
After tireless efforts of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Indian Olympics Association (IOA) Neeraj secured a visa to Schengen. He was all set to train and compete in France and Sweden.
However, according to a report on TOI, a source close to the development has informed that the Javelin thrower has not been able to board the flight due to some paperwork issue and lack of clarity over quarantine rules upon arrival.
“There shouldn’t be any confusion over quarantine in France. Plus there was a letter pending from the French authorities. Once that is in place, he will take the next available flight,” said a source close to the development.
Neeraj will be accompanied by biomechanics expert Dr. Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist Isaan Marwaha on his journey to France.
As per the TOI report, a source close to SAI has reported that the formalities are now sorted out and Neeraj will be boarding a flight on Thursday which is already being booked. However AFI President Adille Sumariwala claimed to have no details regarding the 23-year-old’s travel to France.
“He will be travelling on Thursday,” said the SAI source to TOI. ” He will be required to serve a quarantine for 11 days, but it will be soft quarantine.” the source went on adding.
However, when TOI contacted Sumariwala he was not sure about the details. “No I don’t have any update. I will give you but I am not giving in to you because I am not sure of the flight,” he said.
Neeraj who has been a sensation for Indian track and field athletes has qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. He qualified for the Summer Games in March last year in South Africa. However, since then, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist has not been able to train internationally. It is a big blow to his preparation and he will hope that the paperwork gets sorted out as he is one of India’s biggest hope.