Day 5 of the ongoing IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland would remain an unforgettable one for India’s Neeraj Chopra who extended his dominance to the world stage after throwing an U20 World Record of 86.48m in the Javelin on Saturday.
The 19-year old arrived the championship as the Asian U20 Record holder with his mark of 82.23m set last year, but his new distance is also an Indian Record at senior level. Chopra’s first throw landed at 79.66m, and South Africa’s Johan Grobler took the lead after throwing a mark of 80.59m at his first attempt, which was a Personal Best (PB).
However the Indian pulled himself together, giving his all at the second attempt, with the result astounding both the fans at the Zawisza Stadium and even Chopra himself, as the Javelin crossed the 85m mark. The rest of the field couldn’t come close even after throwing a distance of 78.36m at his 3rd attempt, and fouling the last one.
Chopra’s feat has also earned him the sole status of being India’s only GOLD medallist at the World Juniors, following Bronze medals won by Seema Antil in 2002 and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon in 2014. Grobler took the Silver medal as Grenada’s Anderson Peters won Bronze with an U20 National Record (NR) of 79.65m.
Meanwhile the women’s Hammer throw was won by Norway’s Beatrice Nedberge Llano who won GOLD with a throw of 64.33m which she got on her final attempt, as the pair of Alexandra Hulley (63.47m) and Suvi Koskinen (62.49m) placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.