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Javelin thrower Shivpal qualifies for Tokyo Olympics, joins Neeraj Chopra

Shivpal Singh | File   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

He has been having issues with the ‘block’ while throwing the javelin for some time.

Still, Shivpal Singh produced an impressive 85.47m effort in the Athletics Central North West League meet at Potchefstroom, South Africa, on Tuesday evening, a throw that helped the 24year-old to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

He is the second Indian javelin thrower to make the cut. Neeraj Chopra, the World No. 4 and the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games champion, had qualified with an 87.86m effort in another ACNW League meet, also at Potchefstroom, in late January. The entry standard for Tokyo is 85m.

“I was not surprised with this throw because I had

done a bigger one last year,” Shivpal, the World No. 16, told The Hindu shortly after winning the gold. “But my block is still not good, I still have issues with it, I’ve got to work on it.” Shivpal, who had won the Asian championship in Doha in April last year with a personal best 86.23m, has been very inconsistent after that. He could only manage a best of 78.97m in the qualification round of the Doha World championships in October and failed to progress to the final.

Surprisingly, he was in impressive form in smaller meets towards the end of last year with an 83.33m effort in the World Military Games in Wuhan in October and 84.16m in the South Asian Games in Kathmandu in December. Shivpal, coached by Germany’s former World record

holder Uwe Hohn, feels this year could be his best and surprised one when he spoke about his 91m goal for the year. Neeraj’s impressive performances in international meets have removed the mental barrier for javelin throwers in the country...a sort of Saina Nehwal effect in badminton. And it looks like the javelin throwers now believe that nothing is impossible! But it will be wonderful if Shivpal’s big throw comes in abig meet.

Meanwhile, National record holder Annu Rani, also an Asian silver medallist who finished eighth in the Doha Worlds last year, won the women’s event in the meet with a 61.15m effort. The 27-year-old, who has apersonal best of 62.43m, is chasing the 64m that will carry her to the Olympics.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 1:33:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/javelin-thrower-shivpal-qualifies-for-tokyo-olympics-joins-neeraj-chopra/article31037327.ece

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