Shocking decisions, controversy against Neeraj, Kishore; India to go on protest - Hindustan Times
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Shocking decisions lead to controversy against Neeraj Chopra, Kishore Jena; India plan official protest

Oct 04, 2023 09:14 PM IST

Neeraj Chopra and Kishore Jena overcame shocking decisions, technical failure to take gold and silver at Asian Games. India set to complaint against officials.

It seems like questionable decisions, technical failure and unusual incidents leading to uncalled-for controversies are reserved only for Indian athletes in the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. After Jyothi Yarraji was unlawfully disqualified for a false start which she never made in her women's 100m hurdles final - she was allowed to run after a protest and her bronze medal was upgraded to silver - India's ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and Kishore Kumar Jena had to face troubles of their own in the men's javelin throw final on Tuesday.

Neeraj Chopra having a chat with the officials during Asian Games 2023 men's javelin final
Neeraj Chopra having a chat with the officials during Asian Games 2023 men's javelin final

In a never-before-seen incident in a global event like the Asian Games, Olympic gold medalist and reigning world champion Neeraj Chopra was asked to retake his first throw in the javelin final due to a technical failure in the scoring system. To the naked eye, it appeared that Neeraj's first throw was somewhere around 87-88m which would have more or less assured him a gold medal. But when everyone including Neeraj was waiting for the official distance, the officials were running helter-skelter.

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Utter chaos reigned supreme as Neeraj was seen having a lengthy discussion with the officials. The reasons behind all this? The scoring system saw a technical failure and hence it was not possible to measure the exact distance of Neeraj's first throw. In between all this, Abdulrahman Alazemi of Kuwait went ahead with his first attempt, another shocker of an incident as the next athlete is not given a green signal till the score of the previous athlete has been officially confirmed.

The competition was put on hold for about 20 minutes before it was finally decided that Neeraj would have to retake his first throw. The defending champion did not show any dissent for even once but the decision was bound to play on his mind. He went to his mark, ran in and threw the javelin with all his might. This time, the distance was registered and it was measured at 82.38m. It was good but nowhere near Neeraj's first.

The shock factor had just begun. Kishore Jena, the other Indian in the javelin final, was left bemused when the official raised the red flag to disqualify his second attempt when it was clear that his front foot was nowhere near the white line. Neeraj Chopra immediately stepped in and urged Kishore to appeal, which he did. After a couple of replays, the decision was overturned and Kishore's throw was recorded at 79.76m. Apart from the daylight between Kishore's foot and the line, the replays also cleared that the Chinese official was not even looking at Kishore's foot before raising the red flag.

India to protest, lodge official complaint

Legendary Indian long jumper and the current vice president of the Athletics Federation of India, Anju Bobby George, said India would lodge an official complaint against all officials involved in the athletics at the Games. "I think it's calculated. They are trying to cheat us. One or two is okay but this is continuously happening to us We are going to protest against all the officials," she told Sportstar after the men's javelin event.

“My first throw was good but they did not record it. I argued with the officials but it was not in my hands, I couldn't do anything about it. I'm happy that I could win gold,” Neeraj said.

The shocking decisions, however, had no impact on India's performance. Neeraj and Kishore created history by taking the gold and silver medals respectively. At one point Kishore was in gold position with a fabulous throw of 86.77m but Neeraj showed his class by achieving his season's best in his fourth attempt. The 88.88m throw earned Neeraj successive gold medals at the Games. But he would be equally happy for his teammate, Kishore, who threw his personal best of 87.54 to take the silver medal and qualify for the Paris Olympics.

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