Neeraj Chopra’s big test — World Championship

India's brightest prospect at the World Championships, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will begin his campaign on Thursday night. He will face world class field led by the Germans

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:August 10, 2017 4:08 pm
neeraj chopra, athletics world championships Neeraj Chopra’s season best throw is of 85.63 metres.

Event: Men’s javelin
On the tube: Star Sports Select 2/ Select HD: 11:35 pm
Focus: India’s junior world champion Neeraj Chopra

India’s brightest prospect at the World Championships, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will begin his campaign on Thursday night. He will face world class field led by the Germans. His first task will be to advance from qualification to the final, which will be held on Saturday night.

A recent dip in form (78.92m) at the Monaco Diamond League raises doubts over Chopra’s current form but if he can find his range, the 19-year-old should make it to the final.

14 – Neeraj Chopra’s season best of 85.63 metres put him in 14th place this season. His season’s best was set in June at the Federation Cup.

* Chopra’s personal best of 86.48m, registered when he won the World U-20 title, would’ve won him a bronze at the Rio Games. Eventual bronze medalist Keshorn Walcott had thrown 85.38m.

* At the previous World Championships, Chopra would not have finished on the podium. His best would have been more than a metre short of Tero Pitkamaki’s 87.64m, which won him bronze.

German power
This season’s in javelin competitions have been dominated by Germany. Germany’s Johannes Vetter (94.44 SB)and Thomas Rohler (93.90) have registered the best eight throws between them this year. They stand five metres clear of their closest competitor Andreas Hoffman (88.79 SB), also a German. Many are betting on a German sweep.

World record under threat?
Favourites Vetter and Rohler are still some distance from the world record of 98.48m set by Jan Zelenzy in 1996. The two Germans have been pushing each other this season and it won’t be a surprise if one of them or even both come up with a massive throw. Vetter has the season’s best throw of 94.44m. He had to surpass Olympic champion Rohler, who threw 93.90m in Doha in early May.

104.80m throw by East Germany’s Uwe Hohn in 1984, which led to redesigning of javelins. In 1986, the centre of gravity was moved forward by 4cm. The step, taken to ensure the javelin stays within playing field, reduced the distance travelled by 10%. In 1991, IAAF javelins with serrated tails were outlawed.

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