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Wed. Aug 10th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: Neeraj Chopra broke into a smile after his fourth round throw of 88.13m. The tension was somewhat eased after he moved into the provisional podium place in second position following his best throw of the men’s javelin throw final in Eugene, US.
While a nation was asleep, the reigning Olympic champion created history after becoming the first ever Indian athlete to win a silver at the World athletics championships with his best effort of 88.13m on early Sunday morning (India time) to etch his name in the record books. He, however, failed in his endeavour to become the first javelin thrower after Norwegian track and field great Andreas Thorkildsen to hold both the Olympics and World Championships titles at the same time. Thorkildsen had achieved the feat at the Berlin edition of the Worlds meet.

Javelin

However, it was Grenadian Anderson Peters who took away the honours after effortlessly throwing the spear to a 90m mark thrice to clinch the gold. Anderson, the reigning World champion, saved the best for his last, launching the spear to a distance of 90.54m in his sixth and final attempt. Before coming to the Worlds, he had a personal best of 93.07m at the Doha Diamond League. In the final, Anderson had a series of 90.21m, 90.46m, 87.21m, 88.11m, 85.83m, 90.54m.

Neeraj had fouled his first attempt after stepping over the scratch line and had them come up with a below-par effort of 82.39m in his second. He improved it further to 86.37m in his next attempt but was still out of the medal contention at the fourth place in the 12-man final. The reigning CWG and Asian Games champion calmed down his frayed nerves and threw the spear to a distance of 88.13m to move into second position behind Anderson.
Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, Jakub Vadlejch from Czech Republic who was in the race for a silver-finish before Neeraj’s 88.13m effort dislodged him to the third, came up with an 83.48m in his fourth attempt to drop down the pack. His best throw till then was an 88.09m. Neeraj tried to catch up with Anderson in his final two attempts, but fouled them after failing to achieve the desired distance. Vadlejch settled for bronze to complete the podium line-up. Another Indian, Rohit Yadav, finished 10th among 12 finalists with his best throw of 78.72m.

In the qualification on Friday, Neeraj had booked his place in the final with an impressive throw of 88.39m in his very first attempt. Neeraj’s only effort in Eugene was the third best-ever of his career after his personal best distance of 89.94m at the Wanda Diamond League in Stockholm and an equally sensational 89.30m at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku.

This was the first time Neeraj has made the Worlds final. In his debut outing at the 2017 Worlds in London, he had failed to qualify for the final round. He couldn’t clear the automatic qualification mark of 83m, with his best throw recorded being 82.26m. Neeraj had missed the 2019 Worlds in Doha after failing to recover from elbow surgery.
Watch World Athletics Championships 2022: Neeraj Chopra wins silver medal with throw of 88.13 metres

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