Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra on Sunday scripted history yet again as he became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships with a throw of 88.17m in the men’s javelin final here.
In another first, three Indians finished in the top eight with Kishore Jena (84.77m) and DP Manu (84.14m) taking the fifth and sixth spots, respectively. Never before did three Indians finish in top eight of an event at the World Championships.
The 25-year-old Chopra achieved his best throw of the day in his second attempt. He had a foul to start with, but then got 88.17m, 86.32m, 84.64m, 87.73m and 83.98m.
Pakistan’s reigning Commonwealth Games champion Arshad Nadeem took the silver with his season’s best throw of 87.82m, while Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic got the bronze.
Chopra has now become only the second Indian — after shooter Abhinav Bindra — to simultaneously hold the Olympics and World Championships titles.
Chopra, who had become the first Indian Olympic track and field gold medallist at the Tokyo Games in 2021, had won a silver in the 2022 edition of the World Championships.
Before him, legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George had won a bronze in the 2003 World Championships.
The Indian superstar also became only the third javelin thrower in history to simultaneously hold the Olympics and World Championships titles after the iconic Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.
The Indian men’s 4x400m relay team, however, failed to replicate their show from the heats to finish fifth in the final.
In men’s pole vault, Sweden’s world record holder Armand Duplantis claimed his second consecutive world title on Saturday, but did not have a seventh world record in him.
The Olympic champion cleared 6.10 metres for gold and then — in what turned into the “Mono show” — missed at three attempts to clear 6.23, which would have been world record number seven for the remarkable 23-year-old.
Uganda’s Victor Kiplangat, the 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, won the men’s marathon on Sunday with a time of two hours 8 minutes 53 seconds.