World Athletics Championship: Neeraj Chopra ends the long time wait for medal; won’t perform at Birmingham due to injury

That one medallist to join Anju Bobby George in the short list of Indians on the podium of World Athletics Championship was hardly a surprise, given Chopra’s incredible consistency after the Tokyo Games. Neeraj’s silver medal in the men’s javelin throw was a big headline from Oregon for Indians on the Sunday morning finally ending the country’s 19-year long wait for a medal at the Worlds. Anju Bobby Geroge is the only other Indian to have won a medal at World Championships that too long back. She had won a bronze medal in the women’s long jump event in the 2003 World Championships.

Till the halfway mark of the game at World Athletics Championship javelin throw final at Eugene in USA, India’s Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra was in fourth place. Ace javelin player Neeraj Chopra was out of the medal race till his third attempt in the men’s javelin final at the World Athletics Championships at Oregon. But the Olympic champion and millions of other Indians knew the show was not over yet. Known to throw his best in the first attempt, Chopra’s chances of landing on the podium looked remote.It wasn’t actually under-pressure Neeraj Chopra who managed to pull off an 88.13m throw that straightaway put him in the second spot only behind Anderson Peters bagging silver medal for the country.

Sunday morning Chopra’s Indian fans were up early in the morning to see him perform. Dissatisfied with his first three failed attempts was a hope for the medal in Worlds. Step forth Chopra, for his fourth attempt. “ Now he needs something big here,” said the commentator as he began the run. And as soon as he released the javelin, he roared with his chest puffing forward in his follow through. That’s the sign, at all times. Because he knows, quite often, when it comes out well and perfect. He liked his throw and was satisfied. It landed at the 88.13m mark, it was a boom. From outside of the medal positions, to second in the table.This performance was commendable but came at the cost of Chopra being out of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham. He suffered a strain injury during his fourth throw which helped him come back in the game for the medal. He himself announced that unfortunately he won’t be able to perform at Birmingham.

Admitting that he struggled a bit with the conditions at the venue, Chopra said, ” Struggled a bit with conditions but I am extremely happy to win a medal for India at the World Athletics Championship”. With the silver medal won at the Worlds,24-year-old Chopra has again raised the country’s hopes of expecting new records and medals from him. Chopra further on Tuesday shared his inability to perform at Birmingham’s Commonwealth due to injury and said he would be back to next events coming in future after a rest.

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