The successful moon landing of Chandrayaan, Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal throw and R Pragyanandhaa’s entry to the FIDE World Cup final – last week was indeed a good thing for India. Indians all over the world are proud of these achievements.
The achievements of ISRO and India’s success in chess are well known. But India’s progress on the global athletics stage over the past two years has quietly captured national attention.
Niraj Chopra is now without a doubt India’s greatest ever track and field athlete. Last week he added another gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest to his Olympic, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medal tally. He also won the Diamond League Trophy in Zurich last year and won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon last year, becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships after Anju Bobby George.
Remarkably, of the top six javelin throwers, three are from India – Chopra, DP Manu and Kishore Kumar Jena – and one is from Pakistan (Nadim Arshad , earning a silver medal). As a result, four of the top six javelin throwers at this year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest are from South Asia.
While Neeraj Chopra’s results were in line with expectations, the most notable success story came from the 4X400m relay team – Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Ajmal Variathody and Rajesh Ramesh – who made it to the finals for the first time and finished in an impressive fifth place. new record.
Jaswin Aldrin (long jump) and Parul Choudhury (3,000m hurdles) qualified for the finals of their respective events, with Parul setting a personal best and breaking a national record.
It was disappointing that Avinash Sable (3000m hurdles) and Murali Sreeshankar (long jump) did not qualify for the event finals. Aldrin and Srishanka have been jumping over 8 meters this year, but unfortunately Srishanka failed to find form in Budapest despite finishing third in the Paris Diamond League.
Chopra’s next challenge is breaking the 90m mark – his best throw so far is 89.94m, just shy of the 90m he achieved in last year’s Stockholm Diamond League.
The Army Sports Academy in Pune must be commended for its ability to develop talent. Enterprises such as the Centre’s Targeted Olympic Podium Program (TOPs) and JSW also play an important role here and deserve credit.