New Delhi, June 11: Olympic gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has pulled out of the Paavo Nurmi Games 2023, scheduled for June 13 in Finland. 

Neeraj had won the silver medal at Finland meet last year with what was then a national record-setting 89.30m throw.
He became the world's No. 1 javelin thrower in the World Athletics rankings last month after surpassing the reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada.

Besides the Indian, former world champion Johannes Vetter of Germany has also withdrawn from the meet. The two rivals, who last met at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, were expected to renew their rivalry at the Finnish meet.

Earlier this month Neeraj had also opted out of the FBK Games in the Netherlands held on June 4 due to a muscle strain he sustained during training last month.

The Paavo Nurmi Games is annual Finnish athletics meet held in Turku since 1957. The competition is a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event.

The Olympic champion made a winning comeback at the Doha Diamond League on May 5 this year, finishing first with a throw of 88.67m at the Qatar Sports Club.

The development will come as a massive blow for Neeraj Chopra, who also missed the end of the 2022 season with an injury. The javelin ace was sidelined for almost eight months due to an injury after winning the Diamond League 2022 finals in Eugene in September last year. 

His next scheduled tourney is at the Golden Spike Ostrava in the Czech Republic on June 27. The ace thrower is expected to feature in the World Athletics Championships in August and the Asian Games in September.


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