India at Tokyo 2020 day 12 live: Neeraj Chopra qualifies for final

Neeraj Chopra, one of India’s star athletes in the contingent for Tokyo Olympics, begins his competition on Wednesday with the qualification round for men’s javelin throw.

Javelin schedule on August 4

Start Time Events Athlete Note
5:35 Men's javelin throw Qualification - Group A Neeraj Chopra Final on Saturday
7:05 Men's javelin throw Qualification - Group B Shivpal Singh Final on Saturday

Chopra became a track and field star, winning the javelin gold at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018. But he first announced his arrival just before the 2016 Rio Olympics with the world record throw in Under-20 category at the U-20 World Championships. But that effort came after the qualification time had passed and he couldn’t make the cut for the Games.

All records in men's javelin as of Aug 3 2021

Having qualified for the Tokyo Olympics last year, he recorded a personal best of 88.07m in the Indian Grand Prix in March. But an elbow injury in 2019 and then the pandemic have robbed him of the chance to get closer to the world’s best. He has competed with the best among the field during the Kuortane Games in June though, earning bronze.

I feel frustrated: Neeraj Chopra on how the lack of competition might derail his Olympic hopes

His task at Tokyo will be cut out.

Germany’s Johannes Vetter leads the current javelin rankings with a personal best of 97.76m and is widely seen as the favourite, regularly breaching the 90-meter mark.

But among the 32 athletes starting the event in Tokyo on Wednesday, competing in two groups of 16 each, only Vetter had a season best of 90m-plus. According to World Athletics, he is the only man in the world to have thrown beyond 90 metres in the last two years. In fact, he has done so 18 times – including a record streak of seven competitions between April and June this year.

Apart from Vetter, the rest of the field is fairly level and anything can happen in the field based on who hits rhythm first. Chopra is placed fourth based on Season Best efforts while London 2012 champion Keshorn Walcott is third.

“I am close to breaching the 90-metre mark and can do it if I get competition,” Chopra had said in the build up to Tokyo. “The present group of seven or eight javelin throwers across the globe is the best in history with everyone recording over 90m.”

Vetter and Chopra are in Group A together. To reach the final, qualifying performance 83.50 (Q) is needed or at least 12 best performers (q) advance to the medal round on Saturday.

Men's javelin throw start list (In order of SB)

Name Season Best Personal Best Order / Group NOC
VETTER Johannes 96.29 97.76 11 A GER
KRUKOWSKI Marcin 89.55 89.55 1 B POL
WALCOTT Keshorn 89.12 90.16 14 B TTO
CHOPRA Neeraj 88.07 88.07 15 A IND
CAKSS Gatis 87.57 87.57 16 A LAT
MARDARE Andrian 86.66 86.66 4 B MDA
NADEEM Arshad 86.38 86.38 7 B PAK
van ROOYEN Rocco 85.97 85.97 10 A RSA
SHUEY Michael 85.67 85.67 5 A USA
KATKAVETS Aliaksei 85.1 86.05 16 B BLR
MIALESHKA Pavel 85.06 85.06 8 A BLR
HUANG Shih-Feng 85.03 86.64 6 A TPE
KUUSELA Toni 85.03 85.03 4 A FIN
WEBER Julian 84.95 88.29 12 B GER
JAINAGA Odei 84.8 84.8 15 B ESP
ABDELRAHMAN Ihab 83.88 89.21 2 A EGY
MATUSEVICIUS Edis 83.53 89.17 12 A LTU
PETERS Anderson 83.46 87.31 10 B GRN
ETELATALO Lassi 82.84 84.98 13 A FIN
THOMPSON Curtis 82.78 82.88 5 B USA
VESELY Vitezslav 82.63 88.34 14 A CZE
KOMINAMI Takuto 82.52 82.52 3 B JPN
VADLEJCH Jakub 82.31 89.73 13 B CZE
SINGH Shivpal 81.63 86.23 6 B IND
NOVAC Alexandru Mihaita 81.31 86.37 1 A ROU
SEIFERT Bernhard 81.28 89.06 8 B GER
HELANDER Oliver 80.82 88.02 2 B FIN
AMB Kim 79.72 86.49 7 A SWE
RIVASZ-TOTH Norbert 79.29 83.42 3 A HUN
MRZYGLOD Cyprian 78.86 84.97 9 A POL
YEGO Julius 75.58 92.72 11 B KEN
CHENG Chao-Tsun 73.22 91.36 9 B TPE
via Tokyo 2020