Neeraj Chopra, junior world javelin champ, qualifies for London Worlds
India’s world junior javelin champion, Neeraj Chopra, made the cut for the IAAF World Championships to be held in London in August. The 19-year-old produced a silver-winning throw of 83.32m in the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix in the Chinese City of Jiaxing on Thursday to achieve the qualifying mark of 83m.
The javelin thrower from Haryana had set a junior world record of 86.48m while winning the gold medal in the 2016 world junior championships in Poland. His effort is also a national record. Chopra has been training in the national camp in Bangalore since November under the supervision of Australian expert Garry Calvert. The London meet will be a huge occasion for the national champion to make an impression at the senior level in the international level.
In all, 12 Indians have qualified for the world meet. Among them, woman shot-putter Manpreet Kaur qualified with a year’s world leading effort of 18.86m while winning gold in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix held in Jinhua, China on Monday.
Three 20km walkers have also made the grade, KT Irfan and Manish Rawat among men and Kushbir Kaur in the women’s section.
Long jumper Anju Bobby George won India’s only medal at a world championships when she took bronze in Paris, 2003.
Varakil wins gold
Neena Varakil won the women’s long jump gold in Jiaxing clearing 6.37m. Her personal best is 6.66m. Manpreet took silver in shot put with a modest 17.46m. Male shot-putter Om Prakash Karhana won bronze (18.73m).
In women’s 100m, Dutee Chand bettered her first leg bronze show, winning silver at 11.57 seconds.
Tintu Luka won the women’s 800m silver clocking 2:06.32 secs. The national champion who turned 28 on Thursday had clocked 2:03.50 in the first leg. Her personal best is 1:59.17. In the men’s event, Army’s Jinson Johnson trailed in eighth, clocking 1:53.76 secs.
The third and final leg will be held in Chinese Taipei on April 30.