Indian Javelin throwers gearing up in Odisha: Shivpal Singh hopeful of Olympic medal

Singh booked his spot at the marquee event after he threw 85.47m at the ACNW League Meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa, in March this year. 

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Indian javelin thrower Shivpal Singh will be shouldering some of the country's hopes for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Singh is the second Indian javelin thrower after Neeraj Chopra to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. He booked his spot at the marquee event after he threw 85.47m at the ACNW League Meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa, in March this year.

2020 has been a good year for the Varanasi-born athlete. However, he feels that it could have been better if he had had the chance to fine-tune his preparations for Tokyo by participating in events which have since been cancelled due to the pandemic.

“2020 went quite well for me. In fact I qualified for the Olympics this year. However, I could have done exceptionally well in the competitions had those went down as per the schedule, but COVID played spoilsport and I was left stuck at home,” Singh told Odishatv.in

Tokyo Olympics was re-scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020 to July 23 to August 8, 2021 due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Singh feels that despite the rescheduling, he is hopeful of performing well at Tokyo, given that he has maintained his fitness through the lockdown.

Shival Singh in action

"I do not have any qualms about rescheduling the Olympics from 2020 to 2021. Whatever change happened, it is meant for all the athletes, not only me. However, I was in very good shape this year. And I hope I will continue to bring glory to my motherland," Singh said. 

Singh along with four other members of India's elite javelin throwers team are currently practicing for the Tokyo Olympics at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. 

“Everybody including Neeraj Chopra has done exceptionally well in 2020. Anyone can bring a medal to India,” said a hopeful Singh.

Singh was quick to praise the facilities at the Kalinga stadium and thanked the Odisha Government for providing them access to the training facilities at a time when they desperately needed support. 

“We came down to Bhubaneswar owing to bone chilling cold in Patiala where we had been practicing earlier. I had never thought that we would get such support here. I am really grateful for Odisha Government,” he added. 

He has a silver medal from the 2019 Asian Athletics Championship and a gold medal from the 2019 Military World Games in his kitty and will now be targeting his first Olympics medal in Tokyo.