Neeraj Chopra in World javelin final with first throw

Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra expectedly qualified for the final at the World Athletics Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, on Thursday.

Drawn in Group A, his first throw of 88.39 metres earned him automatic qualification.

The medal round is on Sunday (7:05 IST).

The qualification mark is 83.50 metres, or the 12 best performers across two qualification round groups.

India’s other participant in the javelin throw, Rohit Yadav, is competing in Group B alongside defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada 

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic also qualified after an effort of 85.23 metres.  

Chopra, who missed the 2019 World Championships in Doha as he was recovering from elbow surgery, went into the World Championships high on confidence having set a new National record of 89.94 metres, just 6 cms shy of the 90m mark, the gold standard in the world of javelin throw, at the prestigious Diamond League in Stockholm in June en route a silver medal. 

The 24-year-old finished second behind Peters, who recorded a best throw of 90.31m.

Besides Peters, Chopra faces tough competition from Vadlejch, Finland’s Oliver Helander and the German duo of Julian Weber and Johannes Vetter.

At the Tokyo Olympics, having fuelled high expectations after topping the qualification round with a stunning first round throw of 86.59 metres, Chopra delivered with a distance of 87.58 metres in his second attempt which was enough to emerge triumphant.

Vadlejch won silver with a best attempt of 86.67 metres and Vitezslav Vesely claimed the bronze with 85.44m.


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