Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has broken his own national record with a throw of 88.07m in the Indian Grand Prix 3 at the NIS Patiala on Friday. Chopra’s previous record was a throw of 88.06m, which he had achieved at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
The 23-year-old from Panipat was at his best on Friday, consistently maintaining a mark above 80m. His first throw went 83.03m before he got disqualified in the next two attempts. Chopra then threw the javelin to a distance of 83.36m in his fourth attempt before breaking his own record in the fifth.
Chopra, who had already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, finished his first competition of the season with a throw of 82.24m in his final attempt.
“The preparation was good. The wind was fast today. I don't have too much experience in throwing with the wind. I am working on that and learning slowly. I didn’t feel like I had used too much of my power today, but it was a good throw. I am feeling good. Next time, my experience will be better, and I will learn to throw better,” Chopra said after winning the gold at the Indian Grand Prix 3.
Another Tokyo-bound athlete, Shivpal Singh took the silver with a throw of 81.63m while Sahil Silwal pocketed the bronze with 80.65m.
Poovamma Raju, Hima Das shine in Indian Grand Prix 3
In the women’s category, Uttar Pradesh’s Annu Rani claimed the gold with a throw of 61.98m, well ahead of Sanjana Choudhary of Rajasthan, who took the silver with 52.54m.
Rani has been a known name in the circuit for quite some time and is also the first Indian woman to cross the 60m mark, which she did at the 2016 National Athletics Championship.
The women's javelin bronze at the Indian Grand Prix 3 went to Kumari Sharmila of Haryana for an effort of 50.77m.
Meanwhile, Hima Das, who is one of India's bright prospects to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, ran the 100m race all by herself as her lone competitor did not start. The Assamese finished her race in 0:11.67s.
In the women’s 400 event, two-time Asian Games gold medallist Poovamma Raju lived up to expectations by winning the yellow metal by a one-minute margin. Raju finished in 0:54.11s ahead of the second-placed Subha Venkatesan (0:55.11s) of Tamil Nadu. Salini Valuparambil Krishna (0:56.50s) of Kerala took the bronze.
Raju had double delight at the Indian Grand Prix 3 as she reigned supreme in women’s 800m as well. She finished in 2:08.60s ahead of the second-placed Urvashi (2:18.06s) of Haryana and Rajasthan’s Sukhwant Kaur (2:18.41s).