At the men’s javelin throw final competition in Budapest on Sunday, Neeraj Chopra accomplished another historic feat by becoming the first Indian athlete to earn a gold medal. In the final, Chopra’s second effort saw him throw the javelin 88.17 meters, which stood as the event record. Neeraj’s performance was a substantial improvement over his silver medal performance at the Worlds in 2022.
In the final, the reigning Olympic gold medalist didn’t get off to the best start, only getting 79 meters; Neeraj was obviously not pleased with the throw and chose to not count the score at all, so he stepped the line to force a foul. However the Indian thrower reserved his finest throws for the second try in the championship; riding on a huge amount of fan support, Chopra took his run and, in usual style, started to celebrate long before the javelin had touched down.
Arshad Nadeem, Chopra’s Pakistani compatriot, came second with 87.82m, just behind the Indian gold medalist. In 86.67m, Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic won third place.
The other two Indian javelin throwers who were in the running, Kishore Jena and DP Manu, also put up strong performances even though they were unable to place on the podium. Both throwers placed fifth and sixth, respectively, after qualifying for the top-8 spots. Manu threw 84.14 meters, while Jena had the highest throw that was recorded at 84.77 meters (also his personal best). Chopra, who is now ranked No. 1 in the world, concluded with a silver medal at the world championships in Eugene last year because Anderson Peters had already won the gold. Chopra had won the Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020. Anju Bobby George, who won bronze in the women’s long jump event in 2003 in Paris, was the only other Indian to take home a medal at the global championships.
Neeraj required just one throw to secure his spot in the men’s javelin final qualifying round for the 2023 competition. The Olympic champion automatically qualified for the final after clocking an outstanding 88.77m on his first attempt. Neeraj covered 88.17 meters, 86.32 meters, 84.64 meters, 87.73 meters, and 83.98 meters after he was called for a foul on the opening throw of the final on Sunday.