Indian superstar Neeraj Chopra created history by winning the gold medal in the javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championships 2023 held in Budapest. Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win Gold at the World Athletics Championships.
In the final, Chopra faced a minor setback with a foul throw in the opening round, making him the only athlete to not register a throw.
History-maker— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 27, 2023
Arshad Nadeem becomes the very first medallist ever for Pakistan in the history of the #WorldAthleticsChamps
🥇 @Neeraj_chopra1 🇮🇳
🥈 Arshad Nadeem 🇵🇰
🥉 Jakub Vadlejch 🇨🇿 pic.twitter.com/N3N12VIiCN
Chopra’s second attempt in the final saw him launch the javelin to a distance of 88.17 meters, which remained the highest in the event. Neeraj’s achievement marked a significant improvement from the 2022 edition of the Worlds, where he secured a silver medal.
Chopra’s closest competitor, Arshad Nadeem from Pakistan, managed a best throw of 87.82m, earning him the silver medal. Meanwhile, Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic claimed the bronze with a throw of 86.67m.
The other two Indian javelin throwers in contention – Kishore Jena and DP Manu – also produced impressive performances even as they couldn’t secure podium spots. Both throwers qualified for the top 8 positions and finished fifth and sixth respectively. While Jena had the highest registered throw of 84.77m – also his personal best – Manu threw 84.14m.
Neeraj Chopra also became only the third in history to simultaneously hold the Olympics and World Championships titles in javelin, after the iconic Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.
Zelezny clinched Olympics gold in 1992, 1996 and 200 while winning World Championships titles in 1993, 1995 and 2001. Thorkildsen won gold in the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships.
Chopra is now only the second Indian, after great shooter Abhinav Bindra, to hold the Olympic and World Championships titles at the same time. Bindra won the World Championships at the age of 23, and the Olympics at the age of 25.
Indian long-jumper Anju Bobby George had won bronze in the World Championships 2023 before him in Paris.