India's young athlete Neeraj Chopra on Sunday scripted history by smashing the junior world record in javelin throw en route to a gold medal with a stunning effort of 86.48m at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. After a solid opening round throw of 79.66m, the 18-year-old Haryana lad sent the spear to a stupendous distance of 86.48m in his second round on the penultimate day of competitions last night.
“I was hoping to throw far but I never expected to throw over 86 metres and break the world Under-20 record,” Chopra said after his sensational effort.
His throw was nearly two metres beyond earlier world Under-20 record of 84.69m which was in the name of Latvia’s Zigismunds Sirmais.
He also broke the existing national senior record of 82.23m in the name of Rajinder Singh while also becoming the first Indian track and field athlete to have won a gold in a World Championships.
Chopra’s achievement was all the more stunning as his effort put him at the eighth spot among senior season leaders though he could not make it to the Rio Olympics. The entry standard for Rio Olympics men’s javelin was set at 83m and the deadline of July 11 has already passed.