Tokyo Olympics: Olympic javelin champ Thomas Rohler pulls out with injury, brightens Neeraj Chopra’s medal hopes

Tokyo Olympics: Germany's javelin champ Thomas Rohler ruled out Tokyo with back injury, brightening Neeraj Chopra's medal hopes
Tokyo Olympics: Germany's javelin champ Thomas Rohler ruled out Tokyo with back injury, brightening Neeraj Chopra's medal hopes

Tokyo Olympics: Olympic javelin champ Rohler out of Tokyo with injury: With less than a month to go for the Tokyo Olympics, India’s javelin ace Neeraj Chopra defending Olympic champion Germany’s Thomas Rohler has pulled out of Tokyo Olympics due to a back injury Monday.

Thomas Rohler was injured in training and has barely competed this year. He managed one foul throw at the German championships this month before withdrawing from the competition.

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“I need to listen to my body now because I want to keep doing my sport for another couple of years at the top level. By taking part in the Olympic Games I would be risking too much because of this back injury,” the 2018 European champion said on the German Athletics Association website.

Röhler threw 90.3 meters to win the Olympic gold medal in 2016 ahead of the then-world champion Julius Yego of Kenya. Another German thrower, Johannes Vetter, is considered a contender for the gold medal in Tokyo. The qualifying round in men’s javelin is Aug. 4 and the final is Aug. 7.

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Tokyo Olympics: Good opportunity for Neeraj Chopra

While everybody will miss Thomas Rohler at the Tokyo Olympics, it will be a great opportunity for Neeraj Chopra, who has been aiming to breach the 90-meter mark. With an 88.07m personal best, Neeraj Chopra could be in touching distance of an Olympic medal. However, he will have tough competitions from another German Johannes Vetter, Anderson Peters — 2019 World champion and Magnus Kirt, who bagged a silver medal at the Worlds. But if Neeraj could break the 90-meter barrier, he could be aiming to finish within the medal bracket.

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