Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic champion, made history on Sunday in the men’s javelin final in Budapest by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships with a big throw of 88.17 meters.
With Kishore Jena (84.77m) and DP Manu (84.14m) capturing the fifth and sixth slots, respectively, three Indians finished in the top eight, marking another first. The three Indian athletes finished in the top eight of an event at the World Championships for the first time ever.
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.
Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan, the defending Commonwealth Games champion, earned silver with a throw of 87.82 meters, while Czech Jakub Vadlejch won bronze.
Chopra is now only the second Indian, after legendary shooter Abhinav Bindra, to hold the Olympic and World Championship titles consecutively. At age 23, Bindra won the World Championships, and at age 25, he won the Olympic gold.
The Indian superstar also became only the third javelin thrower in history to simultaneously hold the Olympics and World Championships titles after the iconic Jan Zelezny of Czech Republic and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.
Notably, Neeraj Chopra had been conferred with the prestigious Champions of Change Haryana Award by Hon’ble Governor of Haryana Shri Bandaru Dattatreya.