India's Neeraj Chopra made history on Sunday as he clinched India's first ever gold medal in the World Athletics Championships after beating Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem in the men's javelin final.
Neeraj Chopra managed a best throw of 88.17m in his second attempt in the men's javelin final to secure the first position ahead of of Nadeem, who managed 87.82m in the final round.
The rise and rise of Neeraj Chopra
The gold medal in the world championships adds to Neeraj's tally of top positions in the 2016 South Asian Games, 2017 Asian Championships, 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 Asian Games, 2020 Olympics, 2022 Diamond League, 2022 world championships and the 2023 world championships.
Adding to the significance of the moment, three Indian athletes claimed spots in the top eight, with Kishore Jena (84.77m) and DP Manu (84.14m) securing the fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
This marks the first instance of three Indian athletes finishing in the top eight of a World Championships event.
The legend of Neeraj Chopra
At 25 years old, Chopra's standout performance came during his second attempt, as he registered his best throw of the day. His series included a foul to start, followed by throws of 88.17m, 86.32m, 84.64m, 87.73m, and 83.98m.
Securing the silver was Pakistan's reigning Commonwealth Games champion, Arshad Nadeem, who achieved his season's best throw of 87.82m. Meanwhile, the bronze went to Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic.
Neeraj Chopra enters elite company
Chopra has now joined an elite club, becoming just the second Indian athlete, following the legendary shooter Abhinav Bindra, to concurrently hold titles from the Olympics and World Championships. Bindra claimed the World Championships title at the age of 23 and an Olympic gold at 25.
Notably, Chopra, who originally made history as India's first track and field Olympic gold medalist at the Tokyo Games in 2021, secured a silver medal in the 2022 edition of the World Championships. Prior to him, long jump legend Anju Bobby George had secured a bronze in the 2003 World Championships.
Chopra in elite company
Chopra's accomplishment further solidifies his place in history, as he joins the ranks of only three javelin throwers to concurrently hold titles from the Olympics and World Championships.
This distinguished group includes the iconic Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic and Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen.
Neeraj Chopra's trophy cabinet
Chopra's triumph completes his collection of titles across various events. He has previously secured gold in the Asian Games (2018) and Commonwealth Games (2018), in addition to four individual Diamond League Meeting titles (two each in 2022 and 2023), and last year's Diamond League champion's trophy.
His earlier achievements include winning the junior world championship in 2016 and claiming the Asian Championships title in 2017.