India's star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra started his Tokyo Olympics campaign on a high by securing a direct qualification into the final of the men’s javelin throw event, here on Wednesday.
Competing in his first Olympics, the 23-year-old Chopra cleared the qualifying mark of 83.50 metres in his first attempt to book a place in Saturday’s final. He topped the overall standings with a throw of 86.65 metres.
Johannes Vetter of Germany was second with 85.64m, taking all three attempts before he could make the cut.
Neeraj made only a single attempt and that was enough to earn him a direct qualification into the final.
Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem came third with a throw of 85.16m at the Olympic Stadium.
Notably, Neeraj has been in top form this season ahead of the Tokyo 2020. He began his season with a new national record of 88.06 metres at the Indian Grand Prix in March and followed it up with another commendable 87.80m throw at the Federation Cup.
Ahead of the Tokyo games, the Indian threw 83.18m at a Lisbon meet for gold, managed another gold-winning effort of 80.96m in Sweden and threw an 86.79m at the Kuortane Games in Finland for bronze. All three events were held in June.
Meanwhile, Shivpal Singh, the other Indian in the competition, bowed out of the competition with a best of 76.40m. He was placed 27th among the 31 athletes.Only the top 12 qualify for the final. Six of the 12 managed to achieve the qualification mark. (UNI)