Neeraj Chopra Clinches Silver at The World Athletics Championships
Tokyo Olympics javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra ended India's 19-year-long wait for a medal at the World Athletics Championships after he clinched the silver medal at the 2022 meet with historic throw of 88.13m in Eugene. It has taken 19 years for an Indian after Anju Bobby George to win a bronze medal at World Championships in long jump at Paris in 2003. It was also India’s best performance with six athletes for the first time reaching the finals of their respective events. India was placed at joint 28th in the standings.
However, Neeraj appeared to be unable to win a medal at the worlds because of his shaky start to the competition. He seemed to be under extreme pressure with more than a billion eyes on him in the final, but the Haryana-born athlete managed to handle the nerves & came back strongly. After three rounds of throwing in the final, Chopra planned a comeback and moved up to fifth place. He then assured himself of a silver medal with a huge throw of 88.13m on his fourth attempt. The Olympic silver medallist for the Czech Republic, Jakub Vadlejch, took home the bronze with a throw of 88.09 metres, while the defending champion from Grenada, Anderson Peters, won the event with a throw of 90.54 metres.
Neeraj Chopra has made excellence at the highest-level routine for a country of billions that was not used to watching their athletes dominate rivals in track & field events. The fact that a section of fans was disappointed that the Neeraj Chopra missed the yellow metal in Eugene is a testament to the unprecedented standards that he has set. In his nascent career, Neeraj Chopra has made it a habit to lay down the early marker & put pressure on the chasing pack. Last year, Neeraj provided Indian sports fans with an experience they had never had before in the Olympic Games, the highest platform in sport. Neeraj arrived, easily defeated the competition, and took home the Olympic gold. Similar events occurred at the 2018 Asian Games. Neeraj led the field with his first throw of 83.46 metres before taking the gold with an effort of 88.06 metres.
It is the lucidity of thought & the ability to adapt to conditions quickly that has made him an all-weather javelin star. It is hardly surprising that four of his finest throws, including his 89.94-meter personal best, have occurred outside of India. When Peters, the incumbent world champion going into the Olympics, didn't even qualify, Neeraj excelled in the humid conditions in Tokyo the previous year. Johannes Vetter, the season's top finisher in Germany last year, was easily breaking the 90-meter barrier after returning to Europe.
The world U-20 record in Bydgoszcz was broken by Neeraj to win India’s first ever gold medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships in 2016. He won the first-ever athletics Olympic gold medal for India five years later with a throw of 87.58 metres. He claims that patience is what has sustained him. Chopra received his world U-20 championship training from Gary Calvert, and during the past few years, he has collaborated with Klaus Bartonietz, a biomechanics expert.
Once again, the Javelin Thrower is set to represent India in the Commonwealth Games 2022 to be held in Birmingham. It is anticipated that the tournament will start on July 28 and end on August 8, 2022. Chopra will be seen in action on August 5 for the Men's Javelin Throw along with Rohit Yadav & DP Manu also set to take part. It won't be simple because Anderson Peters, who won bronze in Gold Coast in 2018, is going for gold, so he might need a throw of at least 90 metres. Another stern challenge awaits the young Indian, who is showcasing a great appetite for learning & consistency.