On Sunday night, Neeraj Chopra secured his inaugural gold medal at the World Athletics Championships, making history for India. During the men’s javelin throw final event in Budapest, Neeraj Chopra accomplished a remarkable feat by becoming the first Indian athlete to claim a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships. In a pivotal moment during the final, Chopra’s second attempt launched the javelin an impressive distance of 88.17 meters, securing the highest position in the event. This achievement marked a significant advancement from his performance in the 2022 edition of the Championships, where he earned a silver medal.
Although Neeraj, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, encountered a less favorable start in the final with an initial distance of only 79 meters, his second attempt was a triumphant turn of events. Dissatisfied with his first throw, Neeraj chose not to register the score and instead intentionally fouled by stepping over the line. However, with unwavering support from an enthusiastic crowd, Neeraj’s second attempt showcased his prowess. With his characteristic celebratory style, he began rejoicing even before the javelin had landed.
Neeraj’s counterpart from Pakistan, Arshad Nadeem, secured second place with a marginally shorter distance of 87.82 meters. The bronze medal was awarded to Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, who achieved a throw of 86.67 meters.
Among the other Indian javelin throwers competing, Kishore Jena and DP Manu demonstrated impressive performances despite falling short of podium placements. Both athletes qualified within the top 8 positions, securing fifth and sixth places respectively. Jena’s highest registered throw reached an impressive 84.77 meters, constituting a personal best, while Manu’s throw measured 84.14 meters.
Neeraj Chopra, the current top-ranked javelin thrower globally, clinched the Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020. However, he secured a silver medal at the previous World Championships in Eugene, where Anderson Peters claimed the gold. The only other Indian athlete to have secured a medal at the World Championships was Anju Bobby George, who secured a bronze in the women’s long jump event in 2003 in Paris.
During the qualification round for the men’s javelin final at the 2023 Championships, Neeraj remarkably needed just one throw to secure his place in the Sunday event. The Olympic champion’s first attempt yielded an impressive distance of 88.77 meters, guaranteeing an automatic qualification for the final. Neeraj covered distances of 88.17m, 86.32m, 84.64m, 87.73m, and 83.98m in subsequent throws, following his initial foul in the final on Sunday. Neeraj Chopra also achieved the distinction of being only the third athlete in history to concurrently hold both the Olympic and World Championships titles in javelin throw, following the esteemed Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic and Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen.
Zelezny secured Olympic gold in 1992, 1996, and 2000, along with World Championships titles in 1993, 1995, and 2001. Thorkildsen claimed gold in the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 World Championships.
Who is Neeraj Chopra?
Neeraj Chopra is an Indian javelin thrower who achieved international recognition by winning a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.
What are Neeraj Chopra’s notable achievements?
Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships and a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics before clinching gold at the World Athletics Championships.
How did Neeraj Chopra start his athletic journey?
Neeraj’s passion for athletics began in his hometown, and he gained prominence by winning gold at the junior level.
What makes Neeraj Chopra’s journey inspiring?
His journey is inspiring due to his ability to overcome challenges, his relentless pursuit of excellence, and his transformation from a silver medalist to a gold medalist.
What impact has Neeraj Chopra’s success had on the nation?
Neeraj Chopra’s success has ignited a sense of pride and inspiration among the Indian population, especially aspiring athletes.