July 25th, 2016
19-year-old Haryana boy, Neeraj Chopra created history on Saturday by becoming the first Indian athlete to become a world champion at any level after he aced a gold medal at the prestigious Under-20 World Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Chopra threw the javelin at a massive distance of 86.48 metres breaking the older world record of 84.69 metres set by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais. This is also the new national record. The previous record was 82.33 metres, which was also set by Chopra in the South Asian games earlier this year.
In his three attempts at the U-20 World Championship, Chopra threw threw the javelin to marks of 79.66m. 86.48m and 78.36m respectively. His second attempt was enough to secure a healthy lead over others. Another important highlight of his achievement is that his throw also broke the record of the defending Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, whose winning mark was 84.58 metres in the 2012 London Olympics.
However, despite of his record-breaking feat, Chopra will not be competing in the Rio Olympics this year because the last date to meet the standards for the same (83 metres) was July 11.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel has announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for the javelin thrower.