Indian track and field star Neeraj Chopra kick-started his Tokyo Olympics campaign by sealing his place in the final of the men’s javelin throw event on Wednesday morning (IST).
At Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, the 23-year-old flew past the automatic qualifying mark of 83.50 metres in the very first attempt to book a place in Saturday’s final. He topped his group with a throw of 86.65 metres.
In a field event at the Olympics, an athlete can make the final by either attaining the qualifying mark or by finishing among the top-12 competitors in the event.
Neeraj Chopra’s compatriot Shivpal Singh will also be in action later. His qualification campaign begins in some time.
Neeraj Chopra, one of India’s brightest medal prospects, has been in top form this season ahead of Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj Chopra began his season with a new national record of 88.07 metres at the Indian Grand Prix in March. He followed it up with another commendable 87.80m throw at the Federation Cup. He then headed to Europe for his final leg of preparations ahead of Tokyo 2020, as reported by Olympics.com
In Europe, he threw 83.18m at a Lisbon meet for gold, another gold-winning effort of 80.96m in Sweden and 86.79m at the Kuortane Games in Finland for bronze. All three events were held in June, in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.
At Tokyo 2020, Neeraj will be up against other medal contenders Johannes Vetter of Germany, Chinese Taipei's Chao-Tsun Cheng, Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago and world champion Kenya's Julius Yego.
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