Jena’s visa issues: Neeraj Chopra urges MEA to intervene

Indian Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Thursday urged the Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar to resolve the visa issues of athlete Kishore Jena so he can compete at the World Athletics Championships, in Budapest, Hungary. The World Athletics Championships commence from August 19 through August 27.

Kishore Jena’s Jena’s participation in the World Championships in Budapest was on Wednesday rendered doubtful after his one-month visa was cancelled by the Hungarian embassy in New Delhi.

But on Thursday evening, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) revealed on Twitter that Jena has a fresh appointment for the visa.

“Thanks to all. Javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena has appointment at Hungary embassy tomorrow at 9am,” AFI tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Neeraj appealed to the MEA to help Jena with his visa troubles.

“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. @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar,” tweeted Neeraj.

Jena had qualified for the event after being placed 36th in the Road to Budapest list updated by World Athletics (WA) following the completion of the qualification period on July 30.

27-year-old Jena is a promising javelin thrower, with a world ranking of 33. He threw his personal best of 84.38 m on July 28, 2023, in Sri Lanka at the 101st Sri Lankan Championships. It was a gold medal-winning throw.

Jena is one of the four Indian javelin throwers to have qualified for the World Championships. DP Manu and Rohit Yadav had also made the cut but the latter pulled out after undergoing an elbow surgery on his throwing arm.

India has named a 28-member strong contingent for the World Athletics Championships, led by Neeraj Chopra. Last year, Neeraj ended the country’s 19 year-wait for a medal at the Worlds with a silver in men’s javelin event.

Long jumper Murali Sreeshankar, hurdler Jyothi Yarraji and steeplechaser Avinash Sable will also be in action at the championships. Shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor had to withdraw due to a groin injury sustained at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok last month.

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