'Athletes can get mentally down': Neeraj Chopra addresses umpiring howler in men's javelin final at Asian Games
The error led to major confusion as Neeraj had to wait for quite some time before being asked to retake his first attempt.
India's golden boy Neeraj Chopra continued his supreme show and won a gold medal in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday. The star javelin thrower bagged the top position with a gigantic 88.88m throw, which he registered in his fourth attempt. Another Indian Kishore Kumar Jena won the silver medal in the same event as he registered 87.54m, also his fourth attempt.
Japan's Genki Dean finished third, well behind Neeraj and Kishore both, managing 82.68m as his best attempt.
However, the event witnessed plenty of drama right from the start. Neeraj, who was the second participant in the event, started with a massive throw but was forced to retake. The throw appeared to have easily crossed the 85m mark but due to some technical glitch it couldn't be measured.
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The error led to major confusion as Neeraj had to wait for quite some time before being asked to retake his first attempt. In fact as Neeraj waited for the official result, Kuwait's Abdulrahman Alazemi had already finished his first attempt.
This was not it as Kishore's second attempt was initially called invalid before the Indian challenged the decision, forcing the officials to rectify their mistake. The incident took place after Kishore's second attempt, following which Neeraj walked up to the former and asked him to challenge.
Neeraj himself addressed the issue while speaking to media after the event.
"The first throw looked good, I'll look at the video again to see how far it might have gone. Surprisingly they didn't measure. I'm still puzzled, apparently the second athlete threw before they could even measure my throw and they lost the mark then. I protested but then it was breezy and other athletes were cooling down and it was getting unfair on them. So they offered me a rethrow and I accepted.
"It is the first time something like this has happened with me in a competition this big.
“It happened with Jyothi, me, and (Kishore) Jena. So there's something wrong but still we've shown how hard we've worked and won medals. I haven't seen anything like this in a big tournament. Athletes can get mentally down, even Jyothi was affected,” the gold medalist was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Jyothi Yarraji, who won a silver medal in women's 100m hurdle final, too faced issues concerning the officials during the event. In fact she was almost robbed of her medal after she was disqualified for a false start along with Chinese competitor Yanni Wu. However, both were later allowed to participate with the decision pending post-race following a review.
Yarraji had finished third, but was elevated to the silver medal position after Wu was disqualified.