Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra qualified for his maiden World Athletics Championships final, first Asian with such a victory
Neeraj Chopra is the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the men’s javelin throw and once again, the javelin champion qualifies for the maiden Worlds final in Eugene (USA).
In the qualification Group-A, the 24-year-old recorded a throw of 88.39m in his first attempt to cruise into the final. The automatic qualification mark was pegged at 83.50m. Besides Chopra, Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic breached the automatic qualification mark with a throw of 85.23m in Group-A.
This is the second time Chopra is competing at the Senior World Championships. At the 2017 worlds in London, he recorded an 82.26m throw and failed to qualify for the final. In 2019, Chopra was forced to sit out due to elbow surgery. Apart from Chopra, India’s Rohit Yadav is also listed to compete in the javelin throw event. He will be in action in Group-B qualification.
Who is Neeraj Chopra
Subedar Neeraj Chopra PVSM VSM (born 24 December 1997) is an Indian track and field athlete who is the reigning Olympic champion in the javelin throw. He is the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the men’s javelin throw.
A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army, Chopra is the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics. He is also the first track and field athlete from India to win at the IAAF World U20 Championships, where in 2016 he achieved a world under-20 record throw of 86.48 m, becoming the first Indian athlete to set a world record. Chopra is from the Ror community of Haryana.
Chopra participated in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games, serving as the flag-bearer in the latter and winning gold medals in both. In his debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Chopra won the gold medal on 7 August 2021 with a throw of 87.58 m in his second attempt.
As of 2021, he is one of only two Indians to have won an individual Olympic gold medal (the other being Abhinav Bindra) and the youngest-ever Indian Olympic gold medalist in an individual event and the only one to have won gold in his Olympic debut.
On 14 June 2022, he marked his return with a new national record of 89.30m that he set at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. After 15 days, he broke his own national record of 89.30m and accomplished 89.94m at Stockholm Diamond League 2022 in Sweden on 30 June 2022. (credits to Wikipedia)