Neeraj Chopra makes history again

India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra won a historic maiden gold medal for India in the World Athletics Championships, claiming the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw competition

Budapest: Neeraj Chopra, who has been bothered by an injury in the last few months, killed the competition in the Hungarian capital with a massive throw of 88.17 in his second turn.

Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem took the silver medal, the first World Championship medal for his country, with a distance of 87.82 while Czech Republic’s Yakub Vadlejch retained the bronze he won in Oregon last year, with a distance of 86.67. 

The two other Indians in the fray too did their best but could not finish on the podium — Kishore Kumar Jena, who had to overcome visa problems to reach Budapest, finished fifth with a personal best throw of 84.77 while D.P. Manu finished sixth with 84.14.

But India had the most hopes from Neeraj Chopra and the 25-year-old from Haryana did not disappoint as he came up with a superb throw on his second turn and secured his first World Championship gold.

No Indian male or female had won a gold medal in the World Championship with Anju Bobby George claiming bronze in women’s long jump at Paris in 2003 while Neeraj Chopra won a silver in Oregon, US, last year.

Chopra, who usually aims to start with a big first throw and had done just that in the qualifying stage with a stunning 88.77 metre, opened with a foul on his first attempt.

But his next throw straight away catapulted him to the top of the standings as the 25-year-old Tokyo Olympic gold medallist from Haryana hurled the spear to 88.17 to take the lead.

Arshad Nadeem made a final attempt in the sixth round with a big one but it was still short of what he wanted and Chopra sealed the gold medal.

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