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Five reasons why Neeraj Chopra's silver at WAC 2022 is significant

Published at :July 25, 2022 at 6:25 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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The 24-year-old will be looking to defend his gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Neeraj Chopra created history once again by winning silver at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in the United States of America. He becomes only the second Indian individual to win a medal at the prestigious meet. Previously, legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George was the only Indian to secure a medal at the event. Now, she has company, in an exceptional javelin throw athlete. 

Neeraj Chopra became a household name after he won an outstanding gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. By doing so, he became the first-ever Indian athlete to win individual gold in athletics at the Olympics. He is also the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the men's javelin throw.

The 24-year-old is establishing himself as a living legend with his performances. There is a lot of significance in Neeraj Chopra’s consistently good performances at prestigious international tournaments. Here are five ways in which Chopra’s silver medal is significant:

Preparation for the Commonwealth Games

The silver at the World Athletics Championships is the fourth medal of the year in as many tournaments for Neeraj Chopra. He has won three silvers and a gold medal in 2022 already. There are more important tournaments coming up in the year, including the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

As far as Neeraj Chopra’s standards go, he will aim for gold at the 2022 CWG. He will be one of the major hopes of gold at the multi-sport event. Furthermore, he is showing good form before the CWG, where he is also the reigning gold medal winner.

Improvement from Olympics performance

The throw to win silver at the World Athletics Championships was longer than the throw that won gold at the Olympics. Neeraj Chopra threw the javelin across 87.58m to win the historic gold in Japan. His best effort in the USA was 88.13m in the final, which won him silver.

One can see a gradual improvement in Chopra’s attempts. His personal best is 89.94m, which was set at the Stockholm Diamond League in Sweden on June 30, 2022. Breaching the 90m mark will be the next target for Neeraj Chopra and one can expect him to go beyond it.  

Inspiring youth to pick up the javelin

One of the major benefits of Neeraj Chopra’s performances is that the younger generation is becoming attracted to the sport of javelin throw. Seeing him succeed in major international events will certainly inspire the budding athletes of India to pick up the javelin. 

Neeraj Chopra is already a household name across the country. People are using his example as an inspiration for young athletes. Inspiring youth to take up javelin is one of the major achievements of the athlete. Single-handedly popularising a sport is no mean feat.

A perfect role model

Neeraj Chopra is an excellent role model for the younger athletes to look up to. He is humble, respectful of his adults, focused on the sport and very approachable. While some Indian athletes went on to win gold at major international events, their personalities off the field left a lot to desire. 

Neeraj Chopra remains away from controversies, displays sportsmanship and rises above his opponents with sheer effort. Having a role model who displays respect for every fan and individual working in the media is a major benefit. His silver at the World Athletic Championships brings these values to further light.

Hunger for more

‘I will try to change the colour of the medal in the next World Championships in 2023,” Neeraj Chopra said post winning India’s first medal at the prestigious meet after a gap of 19 years. It is the hunger and ambition of the athletes which made winning a historic silver a little disappointing.

Neeraj Chopra is his own biggest critic and will certainly try harder to improve his performance in the future. This continued hunger to do better is why Chopra is where he is today. Winning silver at the World Championships could not have been possible if the 24-year-old had become satisfied after winning Olympic gold.

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