Neeraj Chopra. This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of the athlete and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

Neeraj Chopra gets silver; Rohit Yadav finishes tenth

Defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, dominated the javelin throw final at the 2022 World Athletics Championship, securing the gold medal with a tremendous display that saw three of his throws land in 90m-territory.

His best throw from the final measured 90.54m.

Olympic gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra, settled for silver with a best throw of 88.13m. Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic won the bronze medal; his best throw measured 88.09m.  As per the competition commentary, Neeraj had come into the world championship yet to reach his best form but happy that he was beginning to find his groove. News reports following the final in Eugene, Oregon, USA, quoted the Indian athlete saying that he would try to do better at the next world championship due in Budapest in 2023.

Indian athlete, Rohit Yadav, who too had qualified for the javelin throw final finished in tenth place with a best throw of 78.72m. Media reports said, many of the Indian athletes who participated in the world championship will now move to UK for the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled to take place in Birmingham over July 28-August 8. A sizable Indian team is expected there.

In an excellent article (dated July 24, 2022) that summarizes the ascent of Anderson Peters and also offers insight into his rivalry with Neeraj Chopra, Nihal Koshie of Indian Express writes, “   The 2016 Under-20 World Championships in Poland is where Neeraj Chopra and Grenada’s Anderson Peters had their first big showdown. This was two years before Peters, who has studied in the United States since 2017, threw 81.95 metres to break the Mississippi State’s freshman record. At the Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium, Chopra became the junior world champion and an overnight star. His 86.48 metres was a world junior record. Johan Grobler (80.59m) of South Africa was second and third, almost unnoticed in the frenzy in India, was Peters (79.65m). Peters had set a national under-20 mark but back then Chopra was anointed as the future star.’’

According to the piece, what makes Anderson Peters a force to reckon with is his ability to produce a big throw towards the end of a competition. Neeraj in contrast, is known for his big throws in the initial phase. At the final in Eugene too, although the Grenadian athlete was strong throughout, with three throws in excess of 90m, it was his last one – 90.54m – that turned out to be the best. To read the Indian Express article in full, please click on this link:  https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/cricket-loving-fast-bowler-anderson-peters-beats-neeraj-chopra-to-take-javelin-gold-8048404/

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)

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