India’s Neeraj Chopra qualified for the men’s javelin throw final at World Athletics Championships, being held in Eugene, Oregon, with an effort of 88.39m.
The Olympic champion sealed his spot in the final with his first throw in the qualification round. Chopra was in Group A of the qualification round and the first to throw, and the 24-year-old wrapped it up early for himself.
He will now compete in the final, which is set to be held on Sunday early morning (IST).
The automatic qualifying mark in javelin throw for the World Championships final was 83.50m.
Chopra’s throw was the best in Group A and only Grenada’s Anderson Peters could better his effort with a throw of 89.91m.
“It was a good start. I’ll give my 100% in the final,” Chopra said after the qualifying round.
“We’ll see. Every day is different. I’ll just give my best. We don’t know who can throw far on any given day,” he went on to say.
He also spoke about the intense competition he faces.
“There are so many throwers in good shape now. Five-six throwers have thrown PBs this year. They are all in excellent shape,” he said.
Anderson Peters hit his personal best of 93.07m this season, while Julian Weber also registered his best ever attempt of 89.54m this year.
India’s Rohit Yadav, with a best throw of 80.42, also qualified for the final as he finished 11th in the qualifying.
Chopra had set a new national record of 89.94m, just 6cm shy of the 90m mark, the gold standard in the world of javelin throw, at the prestigious Diamond League in Stockholm last month en route to a silver medal. The 24-year-old finished second behind Grenada’s Anderson Peters, who recorded a best throw of 90.31m.
Chopra is cherishing phenomenal results this season. The star athlete has improved his personal best twice — he recorded a 89.30m throw on June 14 at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland before sending his spear to 89.94m last month.
In between, he had won the javelin throw event at Kuortane Games in Finland with a throw of 86.69m under wet and slippery conditions.
Given the form he is in, the Tokyo Olympics champion is expected to script history and become only the second Indian and first male player from the country to win a medal in the World Athletics Championships.