Neeraj Chopra, an Indian ace, advanced to the final of the World Athletics Championships 2022 javelin throw competition after throwing an impressive 88.39 metres in Round 1 and topping Group A of the qualification round, here.
Neeraj, who was placed in Group A at Hayward Field, recorded an 88.39m throw in his first attempt to break the qualifying mark and did not take his second or third attempts on Thursday.
Notably, the qualifying cut for the men’s javelin throw competition in Oregon 2022 was set at 83.50m, or the top 12 performers.
Neeraj, who set a national record of 89.94 metres on his way to a silver medal at the Stockholm Diamond League earlier this year, set the tone in Group A with an 88.39 metre throw on his first attempt. This was Neeraj Chopra’s third-best throw of his career.
As the commentator predicted, “he wants one & done” #NeerajChopra does it pretty quickly & with ease before admin’s laptop could wake up
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) July 22, 2022
The Tokyo Olympics champion had failed to advance past the qualifying round at his first World Championships in London in 2017. Due to an injury, he was unable to compete in the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
With an 85.23-metre effort on his first throw, Tokyo silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch was the only other javelin thrower in Group A to break the qualifying mark.
Later that day, Neeraj’s fellow countryman Rohit Yadav joined the reigning Olympic champion in the final from Group B. Rohit finished sixth in his group and 11th overall, making the 12-man final field, with a best throw of 80.42m.
Davinder Singh Kang was the only Indian male javelin thrower to qualify for a World Championships javelin final before Neeraj and Rohit. Kang finished 12th in the 2017 London Olympics.
Meanwhile, reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada won Group B and the final list of qualifiers with an 89.91m throw, moving Chopra to second overall.
Julian Weber of Germany (87.28m) also met the Group B automatic qualification mark. Arshad Nadeem (81.71m) of Pakistan qualified for the final after finishing ninth overall. Keshorn Walcott, the gold medalist from London 2012, was the surprise of the day. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete finished 16th and missed the cut with an underwhelming 78.87m best throw.
(Inputs from IANS)