Neeraj Chopra Makes History: First Indian to Win Gold in World Athletics Championships
In a remarkable achievement on Sunday, Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic champion, created history once again. He became the very first Indian to secure a gold medal in the World Athletics Championships. This outstanding victory came from a powerful throw of 88.17 meters in the men’s javelin final held in Budapest.
What’s even more incredible is that not just one, but three Indian athletes secured top spots in the top eight. Kishore Jena achieved fifth place with a throw of 84.77 meters, while DP Manu grabbed the sixth spot with a throw of 84.14 meters. This was a first-ever moment for India, as never before had three athletes finished so impressively in the top eight of a World Championships event.
Chopra, who is 25 years old, delivered his best throw during his second attempt. Although he had a false start with a foul, he bounced back and achieved remarkable distances: 88.17m, 86.32m, 84.64m, 87.73m, and 83.98m.
The silver medal was taken by Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, who marked his best throw of the season with 87.82 meters. Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic secured the bronze medal.
Chopra’s achievement is even more extraordinary as he joins the ranks of the legendary shooter Abhinav Bindra as the second Indian to hold both the Olympics and World Championships titles simultaneously. Bindra achieved this dual victory by winning the World Championships title at the age of 23 and earning the Olympics gold at 25.
Chopra’s journey began when he won the gold medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, becoming India’s first Olympic track and field gold medalist. He also clinched a silver medal in the 2022 World Championships. Before Chopra, the renowned long jumper Anju Bobby George had secured a bronze medal in the 2003 World Championships.
Chopra’s excellence extends even further. He now stands as the third javelin thrower in history to hold both the Olympics and World Championships titles, joining the ranks of Jan Zelezny from the Czech Republic and Andreas Thorkildsen from Norway.
With his incredible feat on Sunday, Chopra has accomplished every major title in his sport. He seized gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018. Additionally, he secured four individual Diamond League Meeting titles (two in 2022 and two in 2023), along with the Diamond League champion’s trophy in the previous year. His journey also includes being the junior world champion in 2016 and winning the Asian Championships title in 2017.