Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra on August 27 made history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the World Athletics Championships with a throw of 88.17m in the men’s javelin final in Budapest. Kishore Jena (84.77m) and DP Manu (84.14m) took the fifth and sixth spots, respectively, making three Indians finishing in top eight of an event in the World Championships for the first time.
The 25-year-old Chopra achieved his best throw of the day in his second attempt. He had a foul to start with, but then got 88.17m, 86.32m, 84.64m, 87.73m and 83.98m.
Pakistan’s reigning Commonwealth Games champion Arshad Nadeem won the silver with his season’s best throw of 87.82m. Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic got the bronze.
Chopra has now become only the second Indian after shooter Abhinav Bindra to concurrently hold the Olympics and World Championships title. The Indian superstar also became only the third javelin thrower in history to simultaneously hold the Olympics and World Championships titles after Jan Zelezny of Czech Republic and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.
With his latest victory, Chopra has won every title his sport has to offer. He has won gold in the Asian Games (2018) and Commonwealth Games (2018), besides four individual Diamond League Meeting titles (two each in 2022 and 2023) and Diamond League champion’s trophy last year. He also became junior world champion in 2016 and bagged the Asian Championships title in 2017.