Injured Indian javelin star can’t defend C’wealth title …England’s Asher-Smith also out

India’s Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra said that he was “hurt” at not being able to defend his Commonwealth Games title after pulling out with injury.

The 24-year-old said that he sustained a groin strain during the World Athletics Championships in Oregon last week, where he won silver.

Chopra was the reigning champion at the Commonwealth Games, which start in Birmingham on Thursday, but he withdrew on Tuesday.

“Needless to say, I am hurt about not being able to defend my title and missing out on another opportunity to represent the nation,” Chopra said in a statement on Twitter.

Chopra said that he was “especially disappointed” about losing out on the opportunity to be India’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony.

“For now I will focus on my rehabilitation and hope to be back in action very soon,” he said in the statement late Tuesday.

Chopra said he had been feeling uncomfortable after pulling his groin during the fourth throw at the World Championships.

“On having it investigated medically yesterday by a group of doctors here in the US, a minor strain was discovered and I have been advised to undergo rehabilitation and give it rest for the next few weeks.”

Chopra made history when he won the javelin at last summer’s Tokyo Games, becoming India’s first Olympic athletics gold medallist.

In a related development, Team England’s Dina Asher-Smith has been forced to withdraw from the 2022 Commonwealth Games with a hamstring injury.

Asher-Smith, who pulled up midway through the women’s 4×100 metres relay at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, announced her decision on Instagram.

The Commonwealth Games 2018 gold and bronze medallist was due to compete in the women’s 100m and 4x100m relay at Birmingham 2022.

The multiple British record holder said: “Unfortunately, I’ve got a slight hamstring strain and won’t be ready to race next week at the Commonwealth Games.

“I love racing in front of a British crowd and was so excited to return to Birmingham, so I’m sad that I won’t be there, but I know that the athletes will put on a great show. Wishing the best of luck to all my team-mates!” – AFP

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