Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will begin his quest for his maiden World Championship crown as the 25-year-old gears up to take part in the qualifying round of the men’s javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championship 2023. The mega spectacle that is taking place in Budapest will see Neeraj in action on Friday, August 25 in the group A qualifying event.
Apart from Neeraj Chopra, fellow Indian athletes D.P. Manu and Kishore Jena will also be in action. Last year, the 25-year-old Tokyo Olympic gold medalist had won the silver medal at the World Championships in Eugene,
Neeraj Chopra has secured his berth in the final of the World Championship, he also secures himself a Paris Olympic 2024 berth with a season best throw of 88.77m. D.P. Manu also remains in contention from Group A, he’s third from his group with a best throw of 81.31m. Group B qualifying round begins at 3:15 PM, Kishore Jena will also hope find his way into the final 12 list of athletes for the final on Sunday.
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra needed just one big throw to qualify for the World Championships men’s javelin throw final as well 2024 Paris Games by notching up his fourth career-best performance of 88.77m here on Friday.
The 2024 Paris Olympics qualifying mark is 85.50m. The qualifying window began on July 1.
The 25-year-old Chopra’s qualifying round lasted just a few minutes as he sent the spear to his season’s best distance in his first attempt. He topped Group A qualification round.
With the automatic final qualification mark set for 83m, Chopra, who has a personal best of 89.94m, packed up and left the competition arena without taking any further throw.
Competing in the same group with Chopra, DP Manu finished third with a best throw of 81.31m which he produced in his second attempt. He will have to wait for the Group B qualification round which will be held in short while to find out whether he makes the cut for the final to be held on Sunday.
Another Indian, Kishore Jena will compete in Group B.
Those who throw 83m or the top-12 best performers from both Group A and B qualify for the final.
A competitor gets three attempts in the qualifying round.
Germany’s Julian Weber was second with a best throw of 82.39m.
Defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, who has been struggling for form this season, finished seventh with a best throw of 78.49m.
Kenya’s 2015 World Championships gold medallist Julius Yego was eighth with 78.42m.
Chopra’s World Championships qualifying round campaign on Friday is reminiscent of his performance during the same stage of competition in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
On that occasion also, he had needed just one throw of 86.65m to qualify for the final. The automatic qualifying mark was 83.50m at that time.
He later went on to win gold medal in the final with a throw of 87.58m to script history.
Neeraj Chopra has qualified for the finals of the men’s javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championships 2023, which is being held in Budapest. The Olympics gold medallist recorded a throw of 88.77m in his first attempt itself, which was enough to secure his place in the final.
It also happens to be among Neeraj’s best throw of the year, surpassing his previously recorded 88.67m and 87.66m attempts in the Doha Diamond League and Lausanne Diamond League respectively.
A total of 37 javelin throwers have been divided into two groups, with a total of 12 athletes set to qualify for the final. Neeraj was a part of Group A, which also included Anderson Peters, the current World Champion, and Germany’s Julian Weber. A throw of 83m or more leads to direct qualification, with Neeraj being the only athlete from his group to achieve this mark.
Surprisingly, the Sports Ministry announced the team instead of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), which later said that most of the participating athletes have already reached Hungary to get used to the weather.
Reigning Diamond League champion Chopra is gunning for a gold medal in Budapest after winning a silver in the last edition in Eugene, USA, in 2022. He has won two Diamond League Meetings this season — in Doha on May 5 and Lausanne on June 30.
The 25-year-old, who had missed three top competitions between the two Diamond League Meetings due to a muscle strain sustained while training, is currently training at Magglingen in Switzerland.