Neeraj Chopra qualified for the men's javelin throw final at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday by turning in the performance of the season and the fourth-best effort of his career.
The Olympic champion breezed into the final, which will take place on Sunday, with a massive 88.77m throw on his first attempt. The passing score was 83m. Neeraj also qualified automatically for the 2024 Paris Olympics with this throw, with a qualifying mark of 85.50 metres. The qualification period started on July 1.
To put Neeraj's feat into perspective, just one other athlete from qualification set A, Julian Webber of Germany, broke the 80-meter barrier in the opening round of throws. Even after three tries, none of the other 15 athletes in the same set could secure automatic qualification.
They will now need to rely on the results of Qualification Set B. The top 12 from both groups advance to the final if the bulk of them fall short of the 83m qualification threshold.
DP, the other Indian competitor, Manu, placed third in the same group with a best throw of 81.31 metres, trailing Webber (82.39 metres), and he stands a good chance of making the finals unless nine other competitors throw farther in qualifier B.
Anderson Peters, the reigning champion, was all but eliminated after three attempts with a poor best of 78.49. He placed seventh in Group A and will need most of the competitors in Group B to do poorly in order to go to the finals.
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