On Sunday night, Neeraj Chopra earned his first World Athletic Championships gold medal.
On Sunday, Neeraj Chopra made history by being the first Indian athlete to win a World Athletics Championships gold medal in the men’s javelin throw final event in Budapest. Chopra’s second try in the final saw him launch the javelin 88.17 meters, which remained the event record. Neeraj’s performance was a huge improvement over his silver medal performance at the Worlds in 2022.
The defending Olympic gold medalist didn’t get off to the best start in the final, reaching only 79m; Neeraj was plainly unhappy with the throw and decided not to register the score at all, stepping the line to force a foul. However, the Indian thrower reserved his best for the final; riding on a massive crowd support, Chopra took his run and began to rejoice even before the javelin could land.
Arshad Nadeem, Chopra’s Pakistani compatriot, came second at 87.82m, just behind the Indian gold medalist. Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic won bronze in 86.67m.
Kishore Jena and DP Manu, the other two Indian javelin throwers in contention, also put forth strong performances despite failing to make the podium. Both throwers made the top eight and finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Jena recorded the highest registered throw of 84.77m, which was also his personal best, while Manu threw 84.14m.
Neeraj only needed one throw in the men’s javelin qualification round at the 2023 competition to secure a spot in the final on Sunday. 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.