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Neeraj Chopra qualifies for his maiden World Athletics Championships javelin final with first throw of 88.39m 


Much like his performance at the Tokyo Olympics last year, Neeraj Chopra made it look easy in the qualification round of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on Friday, July 22. The Olympic gold medalist needed just one throw to breach the automatic qualifying mark and reach his maiden world final in men’s javelin.

Neeraj Chopra threw 88.39m in his first attempt after going first in Group A of the qualification in men’s javelin at the Hayward Field in the USA. It was well above the automatic qualification mark of 83.50m.

Notably, Neeraj had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics final with only one throw in the qualification round – 86.50m.

Sporting the blue Indian jersey, Neeraj looked calm and composed as he walked onto the field with his spear and hurled it across the yellow line to book a spot in the final, which he missed 5 years ago at his maiden World Athletics Championships meet. The then-teenager had missed the final after managing 82.26m in London in 2017.

Neeraj made amends, and laid down an early marker with a warning notice to the rest of the chasing field.

WATCH: 89.39m – ONE AND DONE FOR NEERAJ

NEERAJ, VADLEJCH BOOK BERTHS EARLY

Neeraj’s throw of 88.39m is just a little more than a metre less than his national record-setting throw of 89.94m set at the Stockholm Diamond League in June.

Only 2 throwers booked the automatic qualification in the first attempt on Friday as Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch threw 85.23m. Only 3 throwers went past the 80m-mark in their first attempts in the Qualification Group A, highlighting the enormity of Neeraj’s effort.

Group A men’s javelin qualification round results (Screengrab from World Athletics Championships)

Later in the day, India’s Rohit Yadav will be in action in Qualification Group B, eyeing a spot in the final.

India have won only one medal in the history of the World Athletics Championships when Anju Bobby George took the women’s long jump bronze in 2003.

However, the record might change this weekend as Neeraj Chopra will challenge for a podium finish in Oregon. Also in the fray is Annu Rani, who booked a place in the women’s javelin final with a throw of 59.60m. Unlike Chopra, Rani needed all 3 throws in the qualification to reach the final.

— ENDS —





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