Indian ace Neeraj Chopra made the final of the World Athletics Championships 2022 javelin throw competition after topping Group A of the qualification round in Oregon on Thursday.
Placed in Group A at Hayward Field, Neeraj Chopra, the reigning Olympic champion, recorded a 88.39m throw in his first attempt, breaching the qualifying mark.
The qualifying cut of the Oregon 2022 men’s javelin throw competition was set at 83.50m or the 12 best performers.
Neeraj Chopra, who set a national record of 89.94m en route to a silver medal win at the Stockholm Diamond League earlier this year, set the tone in Group A with an 88.39m throw in his very first attempt. This was the third-best throw Neeraj Chopra has recorded in his career.
Tokyo Olympics champion Neeraj Chopra had failed to get past the qualifying round at the 2017 worlds in London, his debut world championships. He missed the 2019 world athletics championships in Doha due to an injury.
Tokyo silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch was the only other javelin thrower in Group A to breach the qualifying mark with an 85.23m effort, which also came in his first throw
“It was a good start. I am also happy for Jakub,” Neeraj Chopra said. “I’ll give my 100 per cent in the final. 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.
“There are so many throwers in good shape now. Five-six throwers have thrown personal bests this year. They are all in excellent shape. There is a little bit of zigzag in my run-up. I shook a little bit, but it was a good throw,” Chopra added.
Later in the day, Neeraj Chopra’s compatriot Rohit Yadav also joined the reigning Olympic champion in the final from Group B.
With a best throw of 80.42m, Rohit Yadav finished sixth in his group and 11th overall to make the 12-man final field.
Before Neeraj and Rohit, Davinder Singh Kang was the only Indian male javelin thrower to qualify for a world championships javelin final. Kang finished 12th at London 2017.
Reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada topped Group B and the final list of qualifiers with an 89.91m throw, pushing Neeraj Chopra to second in the overall leaderboard.
Germany’s Julian Weber (87.28m) also met the automatic qualification mark from Group B. Pakistan’s javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem (81.71m) made the final after placing ninth overall.
London 2012 gold medallist Keshorn Walcott was the upset of the day. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete could only record an underwhelming 78.87m best throw to finish 16th and missed the cut.
Eldhose Paul made the men’s triple jump final at Oregon 2022.
Picture by Getty Images
Eldhose Paul becomes first Indian to make men’s triple jump final at worlds
In the men’s triple jump, meanwhile, India’s Eldhose Paul qualified for the 12-man final after finishing 12th overall.
Placed in Group A, Eldhose Paul, who posted a personal best jump of 16.99m at the Federation Cup earlier this year, managed a best jump of 16.68m to squeeze through. Paul is the first Indian to make the men’s triple jump final at the worlds.
The other two Indians in the fray, Praveen Chithravel, also competing in Group A, and Abdulla Aboobacker, in Group B, however, missed the cut.
While Praveen Chithravel recorded a best leap of 16.49m to finish in the 17th spot in qualifying, Abdulla Aboobacker could only manage a 16.45m to place 19th out of the 28 competitors.
Both jumpers were way off their personal best marks. Praveen Chithravel has a PB of 17.18m recorded at the National Inter State Senior Athletics Championships in Chennai back in June and Abdulla Aboobacker’s best is a 17.19m, set at the Indian Grand Prix in Bhubaneswar in May.
Tokyo 2020 champion Pedro Pichardo topped the qualifying with a 17.16m attempt.
The final qualifying mark for the men’s triple jump finals at Oregon 2022 was set at 17.05m or at least 12 best performers.
Five athletes breached the automatic qualifying distance, including Zhu Yaming of China (17.08m) and Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango (17.15m), the Tokyo silver and bronze medallists, respectively.
Both the men’s javelin throw and triple jump finals are scheduled for Saturday (Sunday in India).