Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra added more glitter to his resume when he won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships final in Eugene, Oregon. The 24-year-old, the current defending champion of the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, was only second after Grenanda’s Anderson Peters in the final with 12 men, which also included Pakistani Arshad Nadeem.
It wasn’t the first time Chopra and Nadeem had crossed paths in javelin throwing. During the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, a photo of the duo greeting each other on stage made the rounds on social media. Four years later, the Olympic champion revealed another heartwarming moment he shared with Nadeem.
“I spoke to Arshad after the match ended,” Chopra said after his final.
“I told him he was doing very well. He replied that he had problems with his elbow. I continued to congratulate him on a great throw and it was a great comeback from his injury and it was commendable that he threw the javelin over 86 meters .”
In the final, Nadeem threw from a distance of 86.16 meters, securing fifth place in the final.
“Glad I won silver”
Going into the final, Neeraj Chopra’s showdown with Anderson Peters was seen as the gold medalist. It would prove to be the case if Peters defeated the reigning Olympic champion. However, it was not an easy road to silver for Chopra.
The 24-year-old was fourth on three pitches and opened with an error before registering 82.39m and 86.37m in his next two attempts. He regained his rhythm with a big fourth round throw of 88.13m, his fourth best attempt of his career, to jump into second place, which he held out to the end.
“The conditions were challenging, there was wind coming from the front,” he said. “It was a tough race with very strong competitors. It was a challenge for me, but I was confident that a good throw would certainly come.”
He added: “I made the effort (in the first three throws) but the (big throw) didn’t come. It was a challenge, but good thing I made a comeback.”
“I’m happy to have won silver, the country’s first medal at the World Athletics Championships after 19 years, I’ll take it.”