World Athletics Championship: Neeraj Chopra India's Biggest Hope To End Medal Drought
Indian Athletes To Watch Out For In World Athletics Championship

Neeraj Chopra, Jeswin Aldrin, and Murali Shreeshankar are India’s biggest hopes to end the medal drought at World Athletics Championship

More than 2000 athletes from across the world have assembled in Oregon to test their mettle in the biennial World Athletics Championship. The Indian contingent is led by the Olympic medallist Neeraj Chopra, who is also the best hope for the nation to end its 18-year-long medal drought at the tournament. Anju Bobby was the last athlete to finish at the podium, after registering a 6.70 metre jump in 2003.


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Neeraj Chopra Favourite To Bring First-Ever Gold

Neeraj Chopra is not vying for simply medals but to be the world champion. An Indian walking into the world’s most coveted athletics event as a favourite is a rare occurrence, but such has been the recent run of Chopra that anything below gold will be considered an underachievement. 


Read More: The Unstoppable Neeraj Chopra Breaks His Own National Record At Diamond League In Stockholm 

In the last couple of months, Chopra has bettered his own national record twice, and has already bagged two silver medals. At Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, Chopra registered an 89.30-metre throw, and then missed the elusive 90-metre mark by a whisker in Stockholm Diamond League. Chopra’s main competition will be against the defending champion Anderson Peterson and Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch.

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Neeraj will be joined by another javelin thrower from India, Rohit Yadav, who has been quite consistent in the last few months, and is likely to qualify for the final.


When do we see Neeraj Chopra in action? 

Qualification – 22 July 5:35 AM IST

Final – 24 July 7:05 AM IST 

Hope In Long Jump

Murali Sreeshankar, a long jump prodigy who shot into the limelight after breaking a national record in the long jump at just 19, has finally found a crucial ingredient – consistency – that evaded him so far. Although ranked 13, Sreeshankar has recorded the fourth-best mark in the world this year at the Federation Cup. On the season leaderboard, he is placed joint-second with Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou. Earlier this year in Austria, Sreeshankar produced an 8.45m jump.

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He will be joined by his compatriot Jeswin Aldrin, who has been nearly as good as Sreeshankar. At the Federation Cup 2022, Aldrin recorded a monstrous jump of 8.37m, but couldn’t script the national record as he was aided by a gusty wind. His next jump of 8.26m was good enough to secure a place in WAC. 


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Sreeshankar and Aldrin will be joined by Muhammed Anees Yahiya, whose personal-best doesn’t inspire too much confidence, but competing at the biggest stage will be a handy experience.


When Does The Long Jump Start?

Qualification – July 16 at 6:30 AM 

Final – July 17 at 6:50 AM 

Avinash Sable To Compete In Steeplechase

Like Chopra, Avinash Sable has been on a record-breaking spree at the national level. The IAF sent Sable to the USA to train under the tutelage of Scott Simmons, where he has struggled to keep pace with the likes of Soufiane El Bakkali and Consensus Kipruto, but a top-ten finish would be regarded as a commendable effort. In the last edition of the event, Sable finished 13th, but has now reduced his timing by 12 seconds. 

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When Does the 3000m Steeplechase Begin?


Qualification – July 16 at 5:45 AM IST 

Final – July 19 at 7.50 AM IST 

Other Indians To Compete In Oregon

Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep Kumar will represent India in the 20km racewalks. They participated in the Tokyo Olympics as well, but couldn’t surpass their own records. Both of them hold the national record in men’s and women’s categories respectively, but are far behind the timings required to secure a podium finish at Athletics Championships. Tajinderpal Singh Toor will be the lone representation in short put. He has barely managed to cross the 20m mark this season, and just to qualify for the final event, he needs to breach over the 21m mark.

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Featured Image Credit: Neeraj Chopra


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