Top Indian javelin star Neeraj Chopra, making his Olympics debut at Tokyo, threw a massive 86.65 metre in his very first attempt on Wednesday (August 4) to easily qualify for the final which will take place on Saturday (August 7). The qualification mark for the final was set at 83.5m but Chopra didn’t need a second attempt to reach the mark. Part of Group A of the qualification in javelin, no one could come close to Chopra’s mark with 2017 World Champion Johannes Vetter emerging second best with a throw of 85.64m.
Finnish athlete Lassi Etelätalo was the third one to qualify from Group A with a throw of 84.5m. Neeraj Chopra will now compete in the final which takes place on Saturday (August 7) from 430pm onwards IST.
Competing in his first Olympics, Chopra took just a few seconds to make to the final round to be held on Saturday as he sent the spear well past the qualifying mark of 83.50m during the group A qualifications. The 23-year-old Indian left the javelin arena after his first throw, having secured his place in the final easily.
Debut Olympics. Debut Throw. Debut Final. #IND‘s @Neeraj_chopra1 qualifies for #Tokyo2020 men’s javelin throw FINAL by throwing an impressive distance of 86.65m in his very first attempt! #StrongerTogether | #UnitedByEmotion | #Olympics
— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) August 4, 2021
Vetter, who had earlier said that Chopra will find it tough to beat him in the Olympics, struggled in his first two throws before crossing the automatic qualification mark with a 85.64m final throw. The 28-year-old towering German, who came into the Olympics after having seven monster throws of 90m-plus between April and June, was lying at a dangerous seventh position after his first two throws but eventually qualified for the final at second.
Finland’s Lassi Etelatalo also advanced to the final as an automatic qualifier with a first round throw of 84.50m. Those who touch 83.50m mark or the 12 best performers qualify for the final on Saturday.
Shivpal Singh, the other Indian in the fray, will present his challenge in Group B, later in the day.