Prized Indian athlete, Neeraj Chopra earned pride for his nation yet again as he secured a gold medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships on Sunday, 27 August. With a throw of 88.17m, Neeraj became the only medallist for India in this edition of the competition.
The Olympic gold medallist fouled his first attempt – perhaps deliberately, considering it was an underwhelming throw – but then made a stellar comeback by recording 88.17m in his second attempt. The move helped him secure pole position in only the second round, and eventually, a place at the top of the podium.
This is India’s first gold medal at the World Athletics Championships with Anju Bobby George claiming bronze in women’s long jump at Paris in 2003 while Neeraj Chopra himself won a silver in the Oregon edition last year.
Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem secured the silver medal with a 87.82m throw, which also happens to be his season-best effort. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch secured the last available position on the podium, with a throw of 86.67m.
India’s D.P. Manu also came up with his best effort of the first half of the competition with 83.72m in his third attempt and was placed fifth while Kishore Kumar Jena came up with 82.82m in his second attempt to remain in seventh position.
Meanwhile, whilst the other two Indian participants in the men’s javelin throw final – Kishore Jena and DP Manu – will not be returning with medals, they can be content with their performance.
Jena, who nearly missed the chance to compete owing to visa-related troubles, recorded his personal best figure of 84.77m. The 27-year-old from Odisha finished fifth in the standings.
Meanwhile, youngster DP Manu, who won a silver medal at the Asian Athletics Championships earlier this year, finished just beneath Jena. The Karnataka lad registered 84.14m – a significant improvement on his Asian Championships figure of 81.01m.