Tokyo Olympics champion and star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will be eyeing to secure his first World Athletics Championships gold medal when he takes to the field for the final of the men’s javelin throw event at the National Athletics Centre at Budapest, Hungary on Sunday. On Friday, India’s “Golden Boy” qualified for the final featuring 12 players in style with a season-best throw of 88.77 m, as per Olympics.com.
Having won gold at the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Diamond League and Under-20 Championships, Neeraj has been eluded by a World Championships gold and having it would boost his personal cabinet and country’s athletics credentials immensely.
Last year, he came really close to clinching that gold, but with a throw of 88.13 m, he fell short of Grenada javelin thrower Anderson Peters’ monstrous 90.54 m throw. Neeraj will also be aiming to touch the much-talked-about 90 m mark and silence everyone once and for all.
However, last year’s silver was India’s only second medal at the World Championships after Anju Bobby George’s bronze medal in the women’s long jump back in 2003 at the Paris World Championships.
Surprisingly, Peters has not made it past the qualifiers this time around, giving Chopra’s chances a massive boost. Neeraj is heading to the final as the world’s top-ranked javelin thrower.
The Indian thrower will still face some strong names in the field, featuring Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, and Julian Weber from Germany – the European champion and world No. 2.
India’s Manu DP, 2023 Asian Athletics Championships silver medalist and Kishore Jena have also made it to the final, making it the first time ever that three Indian players will play a final together.
World Athletics Championships 2023: Men’s javelin throw final start list
-Oliver Helander (FIN)
-Jakub Vadlejch (CZE)
-Dawid Wegner (POL)
-Neeraj Chopra (IND)
-Andrian Mardare (MDE)
-Ihab Abdelrahman (EGY)
-Arshad Nadeem (PAK)
-Manu DP (IND)
-Edis Matusevicius (LTU)
-Julian Weber (GER)
-Kishore Jena (IND)
-Timothy Herman (BEL).
The final will take place at 11:45 PM IST.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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