Neeraj Chopra competes and celebrates in the men’s javelin throw final during the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday. AFP / Reuters
Tokyo 2020 Olympics javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra clinched the silver medal at the World Athletics Championships 2022 to end India’s 19-year-long wait for a medal at the worlds.
This was India’s second medal at the World Championships and the first podium finish since long jumper Anju Bobby George won a bronze medal at Paris in 2003.
Neeraj Chopra’s best effort of 88.13m in the final at the Hayward Field was short of Anderson Peters’ gold medal-winning mark of 90.54m while Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch won the bronze with 88.09m. The 24-year old Chopra had earlier made the cut for the final courtesy an 88.39m mark in the qualification.
Neeraj Chopra elated from his performance and said that there is a hunger inside him to win gold in next edition of worlds competition.
“I am happy to have won silver, the country’s first medal in the World Athletics Championships after 19 years, I will take it. World Championships is even tougher than Olympics, its record is higher than that of Olympics,” said Neeraj after his World Championships heroics.
Gold medallist Grenada’s Anderson Peters celebrates after winning the men’s javelin throw final alongside silver medallist Neeraj Chopra and bronze medallist Jakub Vadlejch. Reuters
The 24-year-old Indian further said, one cannot get gold each time but he will focus and concentrate on training and improvement in order to win the yellow medal in next year’s World Championships.
“An athlete cannot win a gold every time but we have to keep trying and give our best. I have learned a lot from the challenging situation today, and I will work for improvement,” Chopra said.
“I have won gold at all levels except this World Championships silver. So, hunger is there to win gold. I will try to change the color of the metal (to gold) in the next World Championships in 2023 (in Budapest). The other competition I want to win gold in is the Diamond League,” he added.
When asked to whom he would dedicate the silver medal, the star athlete said, “Anju Bobby George madam won India’s first medal? Everybody who has played a part in my success and those who are praying for my success, I would like to dedicate to them.”
Neeraj also mentioned that he spoke to Pakistani athlete Arshad Nadeem who finished fifth with a best throw of 86.16m.
“I spoke to him after the end of the event and told him that he had performed well. He said he had problems with his elbow. He was not doing well at the start so I told him he made a good comeback,” he said.
Indo-Asian News Service