Neeraj Chopra Becomes 1st Indian To Win Gold At World Athletics Championships
Neeraj Chopra, the top athlete representing India in athletics, is the current world champion. Late on Sunday night at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, a 25-year-old from Khandra, Haryana, made history when his javelin took flight and landed at a distance of 88.17 meters on his second attempt. He made history by being the first Indian to take home a gold medal at a significant athletic event. Chopra, who was previously an Olympic champion, has now claimed victory in the lone major event that was still up for grabs.
The next best competitor in the qualifiers was Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, who threw 86.79m. Along with Nadeem, Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic, who won silver medal behind Chopra in Tokyo Olympics, and Germany’s Julian Weber were Chopra’s main competitors.
India’s Kishore Jena finished fifth with a personal best throw of 84.77m while the third Indian in fray DP Manu finished sixth with a best attempt of 84.14m.
Chopra has an Asian Games gold medal, a Commonwealth Games gold, a Diamond League title, an Asian Championships gold and an U-20 world title. Chopra’s trophy cabinet will now showcase a World Championship gold medal too.
Chopra was favored heading into the World Championship final. The Tokyo Olympics champion only needed one throw to qualify for the final, which he did in the qualification round with his best try of the season of 88.77m. Olympic qualifying time for the 2024 Paris Games is 85.50m. Chopra earned a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics with just that one throw.