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  5. Asian Games 2023: Anju Bobby George accuses China of cheating after Neeraj Chopra throw controversy

Asian Games 2023: Anju Bobby George accuses China of cheating after Neeraj Chopra throw controversy

"We are planning to protest against the officials. Now the competition is over. We've got gold and silver for Neeraj, Jena and Annu Rani. But this cannot because we knew. uh, our winning medals in China is very difficult. Even if you do better, they will do some mischief," Anju Bobby George said.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: October 05, 2023 20:00 IST
Neeraj Chopra at Asian Games 2023 on Oct 4
Image Source : AP Neeraj Chopra at Asian Games 2023 on Oct 4

The former Indian athlete and Senior Vice President Athletics Federation of India Anju Bobby George has accused Chinese officials of cheating after Neeraj Chopra's golden triumph in the men's javelin throw final event on October 4.

Neeraj successfully defended his Asian Games Gold while his compatriot Kishore Kumar Jena bagged Silver to display India's dominance. But India's double win in the men's javelin throw came after drama at HOC Stadium. Officials failed to measure Neeraj's first attempt which landed in the 85m region. The event was paused for a considerable time as the officials tried to calculate the mark. 

Officials eventually ruled out Neeraj's throw and asked him to retake. In another incident in the same event, officials called foul on Kishore Kumar for crossing the line but the reply showed the athlete's foot well inside the line. Anju, who gave India its first-ever medal in athletics, highlighted similar incidents happening in the Asiad 2022 and said that the officials are trying to disturb Indian athletes. 

“Neeraj’s first throw was a very good throw. But they weren’t ready to measure it. Same thing also happened with Annu Rani (who won gold for India in women’s javelin throw event) yesterday. I don’t know why they are doing this with Indian athletes. They are trying to cheat us, disturb our athletes. Neeraj’s first throw was a very good one,” Anju Bobby George said after Neeraj's event.

Anju also added that AFI will be lodging protests against the officials despite India's dominant wins in the javelin throw event. 

"We are planning to protest against the officials. Now the competition is over. We've got gold and silver for Neeraj, Jena and Annu Rani. But this cannot because we knew. uh, our winning medals in China is very difficult. Even if you do better, they will do some mischief," Anju added.

Meanwhile, both Kishore Kumar and Neeraj reacted with a stunning comeback to take the top two spots in the men's javelin throw event. Jena's 86.77m throw gave him a lead over Neeraj but the latter registered an impressive 88.88m throw during his fourth attempt.

After the event, Neeraj revealed his confusion over his first attempt. He said that the officials failed to count his landing mark and he had no issue with taking an extra throw.

"I was puzzled and confused, it has never happened in any competition I have competed in till now. I think they lost my landing mark and they kept on looking for it. I did not have any other means, I thought there was no point arguing for long. I also thought it was affecting the competition of other competitors. The other competitors were waiting and I need to respect them also. The wind was blowing and everybody was feeling cold. So, I thought I would take the throw later. The rule says only six throws, but for the first time I got seven throws in a competition," Neeraj told reporters.

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