India’s Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has come out in support of fellow javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena, who is likely to miss the World Athletics Championship to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-27, because the embassy of Hungary in India has cancelled his visa.
Chopra has urged the authorities to find a solution to the problem as the World Championship is one of the biggest moments of an athlete’s career.
Jena was part of three Indians that had qualified for the men’s javelin throw event in Budapest with Neeraj Chopra, silver medallist of the 2022 event in Oregon, USA, and D.P. Manu.
In Budapest, the qualification round of men’s javelin throw will be held on August 25 while the final is scheduled for the final day of the World Championship on August 27. Jena was to leave for Hungary on August 20.
It was the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) that highlighted Jena’s visa problems on social media late on Wednesday, informing that his one-month visa for the World Championship has been cancelled for reasons unknown.
“Setback for javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena as Embassy of Hungary in Delhi has cancelled his one-month #visa for reasons unknown. He is doubtful for the World Championships,” the AFI wrote in a tweet, tagging the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and World Athletics, the global governing body for track and field competitions.
“Odisha javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena was issued 1 month Schengen visa last month. He was to leave for Budapest on August 20. If visa (is) cancelled, he can’t compete,” the AFI further said in its tweet.
Neeraj Chopra asked the authorities to do everything that they can to solve the issue.
“Just heard that there are issues with Kishore Jena’s Visa, preventing him from entering Hungary for the World C’ships. I hope the authorities are able to find a solution, as this is one of the biggest moments of his career. Let’s do everything we can,” he said.
Jena, who hails from Odisha, is in good form as he recently won the gold medal in the Sri Lanka National Athletics Meet on July 30. He came up with his personal best throw of 84.38 metres in Sri Lanka to win the gold.
Earlier, Jena had qualified for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest and also the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China with a throw of 84.38 metres.