Neeraj Chopra broke his own javelin national record with a 88.07 metre throw at the Indian Grand Prix 3 in Patiala on Friday. His old record was 88.06 metres set at the Asian Games.
Chopra didn’t compete at the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala’s National Institute of Sport on February 25. Chopra was throwing for the first time since booking his Tokyo Games berth with a throw of 87.86 metre in January last year.
Chopra finished his first competition of the season with a throw of 82.24m.
And for the first time, the top three – Shivpal Singh and the 20-year-old Sahil Silwal took the silver and bronze – went over 80m in an Indian competition.
“The preparation was good. The wind was fast today. I don’t have too much experience in throwing with the wind. I am working on that and learning slowly,” said Chopra after the event. “I was using another javelin in the beginning, which was my favourite. Its height was a bit better. But now, there’s a new javelin that Nordic Sports has developed, which works well in the wind if given a good release. I used that today in the fifth throw, and that was my best today. I didn’t feel like I had used too much of my power today, but it was a good throw. I am feeling good. Next time, my experience will be better, and I will learn to throw better.”
“I feel good. I have been out of competition for quite a long time. I picked up an injury in 2019. I returned to action close to 15-16 months later in South Africa, where I threw 87.86m and qualified for the Olympics. This one has also come 13-14 months later. I hope I get to compete more and finally bring back an honour from the Olympics.
“Every athlete does their best preparing for the Olympics. Every athlete hopes to win a medal for their country as do I. I will give my 100% in training and in the Olympics. The rest depends on the day and the time of competition.”
Annu Rani shines
The consistent Annu Rani, the Asian silver medallist, was also impressive in the women’s javelin throw, coming close to 62m twice before winning with 61.98m.
Meanwhile, Avinash Sable was just three seconds off his national record in the 3000m steeple chase while shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor came up with a 20m-plus throw.
Amoj Jacob improved his 400m personal best for the second successive week, bringing it down to 45.70s. M.R. Poovamma, the women’s 400m champion, finished with a double, taking the 800m gold also. And the women’s 100m was a rare race, it had just one runner – Hima Das – and she still clocked a personal best 11.67s.
Men: 200m: 1. Muhammed Anas (21.48s); 2. Akshay Prakash (22.04); 3. Rahul Kadam (22.04).
400m: 1. Amoj Jacob (45.70s); 2. Sarthak Bhambri (47.11); 3. Jashanjot Singh (47.59).
800m: 1. Nikesh Rathod (1:53.94s); 2. Parveen Boora (1:55.03); 3. Arjun Khokhar (1:56.10).
5000m: 1. Kailash Kumar (20:19.84).
400m Hurdles: A. Dharun (51.04s), 2. Aftab Alam (51.60); 3. Joravar Singh (55.83).
3000m steeplechase: 1. Avinash Sable (8:24.40s); 2. Naveen Dagar (8:56.36); 3. Balkishan (9:06.69).
Long Jump: 1. M. Sreeshankar (7.91m); 2. Yugant Singh (7.68); 3. Muhammed Anees (7.60).
Triple Jump: 1. Eldhose Paul (15.80m); 2. Kamal Raj (15.67); 3. Punit Sharma (14.17).
Shot Put: 1. Tajinderpal Singh (20.09m); 2. Devinder Singh (18.24); 3. Sahib Singh (17.52).
Javelin throw: 1. Neeraj Chopa (88.07m NR, OR 88.06m), 2. Shivpal Singh (81.63); 3. Sahil Silwal (80.65).
Women: 100m: 1. Hima Das (11.67s).
400m: M.R. Povamma (54.11s), 2. Subha Venkatesan (55.11); 3. V.K. Salini (56.50).
800m: 1. M.R. Poovamma (2:08.60s); 2. Urvashi (2:18.06); 3. Sukhwant Kaur (2:18.41).
5000m: 1. Parul Chaudhary (15:48.49); 2. Ruby Kashyap (18:23.79).
3000m steeplechase: 1. Chinta Yadav (10:27.06s); 3. Sapna Kishan (13:09.92).
Long jump: 1. Mareena George (5.97m); 2. Shiwangi Dubey (5.76); 3. Sowmiya Murugan (5.51).
Javelin throw: 1. Annu Rani (61.98m); 2. Sanjana Choudhary (52.54); 3. Sharmila Kumari (50.77).
Shot put: 1. Shristri Vig (16.06m); 2. Kachnar Chaudhary (14.41); 3. Tunlai Narzary (14.07).