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“I wanted to throw more than 90m but…,” Golden boy Neeraj Chopra on World Athletics C’ships win

While Neeraj Chopra created history by becoming the first Indian to win gold at the World Athletics Championships, the javelin thrower reveals that his actual desire was to hit the 90m mark in the final.

However, things didn’t materialise in the manner he hoped for and Neeraj recorded his best throw of 88.17 m in his second attempt managing to keep his lead intact till the very end to clinch the gold.

Arshad Nadeem, the Commonwealth Games champion with 87.82 m bagged a silver medal while Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch secured the bronze with a best throw of 86.67 m.

Neeraj who looked a bit disappointed told reporters in the post-match conference, “I wanted to throw more than 90m tonight. But it needs all parts of the puzzle to be there. I couldn’t put it all together this evening. Maybe next time.”

Although the 25-year-old took the lead in the second round which remained untouched throughout the final, he still yearned to break his own mark and take it further in his final throw.

“After the second round, I was thinking of pushing myself because I knew that I could get a better throw. But there is a lot of pressure on technique and speed. We have to push a lot in the qualifying round. There was only a single day for recovery so it was also a big factor. I go forward with the motivation of pushing myself till the last throw,” Neeraj said. The Tokyo Olympic gold medallist wasn’t the only Indian competing in the final, Kishore Jena (best of 84.77 m) and DP Manu (best of 84.14 m) were also in the mix and finished fifth and sixth respectively.This was Neeraj’s second medal at the World Championships after he secured a silver in 2022. Previously, Anju Bobby George had bagged the bronze for the country in the 2003 World Championships for the women’s long jump. He has also bagged gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Asian Games 2018.

Neeraj will be back on the field in the Asian Games, Hangzhou which is scheduled from September 23 to October 8. This competition will mark the final major competition of this year for the 25-year-old javelin thrower.

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