Young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has stormed into the record books by becoming the first Indian ever to set a World Record in any Athletics event – senior or junior. The 19-year-old from Haryana’s Khandra village, today, recorded a stupendous 86.48 metres on his second attempt at the javelin finals of the IAAF World U20 Championships, thereby creating history en route to his gold medal victory at Poland’s Bydgoszcz.
Prior to this, only one Indian had ever won an athletics gold medal in athletics across all age and gender categories in any discipline – Anju Bobby George, in long jump at the 2005 IAAF World Athletics Final. But Anju’s gold medal came retrospectively, after the original gold medal winner was disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance. Neeraj has thus become the first Indian to stand at the highest rung of the podium at a world athletics meet.
The first year student from Chandigarh’s DAV College not only secured the gold medal but he did so by a fair margin, erasing the previous Junior World record of 84.69m in the name of Zigismunds Sirmais from Latvia created on June 22, 2011.
To put the immense scale of Neeraj’s feat in perspective, the gold medallist in Javelin at the 2012 London Olympics, Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, had measured 84.58 m in his best attempt. That’s a good 1.9 metres less than the 1997-born Indian’s latest mark.
Earlier, Neeraj had topped the qualifiers on Friday and set the expectations rolling for an unprecedented gold medal for India at the championship. His first attempt of the final round was an impressive 79.66 metres, but it was soon overshadowed by South Africa’s Johan Grobler who put in a throw of 80.59m in his first go.
With the celebrations already on after his record-breaking 86.48m-throw, Neeraj finished off with a modest 78.36 metres in his third and final attempt. But by then he had already staked his claim as the first athletics world record holder from India, in resounding fashion.
Since the qualification period for Rio 2016 is already over, he won’t be going to RIO. Had this perfromance been recorded 10 days back he would have!
This performance is remarkable as it is compares favourably to lot of performances which have fetched an Olympic gold.
Men's Gold Throw:
London 2012 – 84.58
Beijing 2008 – 90.57
Athens 2004 – 84.84
Sydney 2000 – 88.67
Atlanta 1996 – 86.98
Barcelona 1992 – 83.38
Seoul 1988 – 83.26
Los Angeles 1984 – 83.72
All time world record – 104.8 M by Uwe Hohn in 1984 (not thrown during Olympics).