Athletics Javelin Record: After almost an year lay-off due to Covid 19 pandemic, Neeraj Chopra came up with another sensational “better than 2016 Rio Olympic bronze” effort to obliter his own national record that had fetched him a gold three years back in 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
Neeraj registered 80-plus throws in all four of his valid attempts with a record shattering 88.07m throw on his fifth attempt to better his mark in Jakarta by one centimeter (88.06m) to clinch a gold medal in the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix held in Patiala on Friday.
Chopra, who was representing Haryana in the IGP, had qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in January last year. The Tokyo Olympics qualification mark in men’s javelin is 85m.
If the throw is ratified by World Athletics, it will stand as a season-topping mark for the year so far in men’s javelin with current Olympics favourites Johannes Vetter (Germany) with 87.27m second in the list.
With an unbelievable 88.06 metres in men’s javelin that fetched him an Asian Games gold medal, Neeraj would have won Rio Olympics bronze, and would have been the first Indian to win a medal in athletics.
The brilliance of Neeraj’s achievement is amply clear from the fact that India has won many medals in this edition of the Games but none of the 41 medals won so far other than this one came anywhere near a world level mark or performance. They were all good enough for Asian Games standard but none touched the Olympic level. Neeraj changed it all.
The 5’11” Haryana athlete, who took up the sport at the age of 13, always aimed for World level medals. He never aimed for an Asian level or CWG level medal. In many interviews, he has always said: “My aim is Olympic and World Championship gold. Rest will come in the process.”
Such is his confidence and belief.
Neeraj became the first Indian athlete to win a world title in athletics, at either senior or junior level, when he claimed gold in javelin at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
His score of 86.48 at the Junior World Athletics Championship in 2016 spelled a shock wave across the globe and announced his arrival. He would have easily qualified for Rio Olympics and would have given champions a run for their money but due to some technical reasons he had to miss it. But that miss gives him more power & reason to give his best shot at the 2021 Olympics.