Sons of coffee and rice farmers from Odisha and Karnataka reach the World Championships javelin final with Neeraj Chopra

javelin final with Neeraj Chopra
javelin final with Neeraj Chopra

Javelin final with Neeraj Chopra

The men’s javelin throw final on Sunday will feature three Indian athletes for the first time as Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra is joined by Kishore Kumar Jena of Odisha and DP Manu of Karnataka.

Javelin thrower Kishore Kumar Jena was worried before the World Championships in Budapest started. The rice farmer’s son from Kothasahi, Odisha, wasn’t sure he would be able to represent India at the showpiece because of his delayed visa. Neeraj Chopra, the face of Indian athletics, portrayed the older sibling. Jena was on a plane for the global meet as a result of his post, which sped up the procedure.

Jena placed among the top 12 throwers on Friday at the National Athletics Center, earning a spot in the Sunday final. He joined other countrymen Chopra, who won gold at the Tokyo Games, and D P Manu, who won silver at the Asian Athletics, to highlight India’s rising stature as a producer of elite javelin throwers.

This extraordinary achievement sets up an exciting Sunday because Pakistan’s Commonwealth Games gold medalist Arshad Nadeem is among those who have qualified for the medal round. Chopra led the group with a strong throw of 88.77 meters, with Nadeem coming in second with 86.79 meters. Manu placed sixth with a throw of 81.31 meters, and Jena placed ninth with a throw of 80.55 meters.

Chopra, the silver medalist from the previous year, required just one throw to easily cross the automatic qualifying threshold of 83 meters, making him the favorite to win the gold on Sunday. Chopra experienced a brief panic when his leg slipped toward the foul line, but he managed to control it just in time.

Nadeem, a 90-meter thrower attempting a comeback from elbow surgery, recovered from a throw of 70.63 meters in the first round to reclaim his reputation as a thrower for major occasions. Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic was the only other athlete to automatically qualify with 83.50 meters.

Jena and Manu will rub elbows with these legends. The two Indians outperformed Rio Olympics silver medallist Julius Yego of Kenya and two-time defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada in their World Championships debuts, who both failed to advance to the final.

As the race came to a close, Jena briefly felt nervous since he had dropped to ninth place overall. In qualifying, Jena’s first throw of 80.55 was the best. Chopra met the qualifying mark of 85.50 meters, securing his spot in the Paris Olympics. Chopra was seen praising Manu after their qualifying rounds.

“I advised Manu to draw strength from Neeraj’s enthusiasm before he departed for Budapest. Your confidence may be boosted by competing next to an Olympic champion from your own nation. For Manu, I believe it was successful today. His body language was excellent today, according to Manu’s longtime instructor Kashinath Naik at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.

Bronze-medalist Naik from the 2010 Commonwealth Games took a chance on Manu in 2019. In the Under-19 division of the Khelo India Games, Manu placed second. Naik claims that instead of using the 65-meter distance, he chose to travel to Belur, Karnataka, his hometown.

“I didn’t watch him throw, but when I looked at the results sheet, the first thing that came to mind was how an athlete from a place that isn’t known for producing throwers came in second. He must have innate talent if he was able to win silver. The boy was described to me by coaches as being tall and athletic. I called him up and asked him whether he wanted to show up for the Army Sports Institute trials,” Naik said.

A few months later, Manu increased his throwing distance by 10 metres at his first senior national tournament and was accepted into the Army as a Havildar. Naik is convinced that Manu will throw 85 meters if all goes smoothly in the final despite the fact that he didn’t win a medal at the Commonwealth Games last year.

“His initial toss had an excessive angle. The optimal temperature range is between 33 and 37 degrees. However, it was around 45. He fixed it in the subsequent throw. He’ll feel more confident if he makes the final. He can pull off a surprise on Sunday if he can maintain his composure, the man said.

While Jena’s parents work on the rice fields in Kothasahi village, Manu’s parents are coffee farmers. Jena excelled in volleyball and was a standout in village competitions. He was in risk of being kicked out when he showed up for trials at a state sports hostel without a volleyball certification. But he was admitted after producing one from a javelin tournament. Soon after moving into the hostel, Jena received his first set of spikes. Jena declared, “I made the right choice (of sport),” after tossing 84.38 meters at the Sri Lanka National Championships in Diyagama last month.

Jena will compete alongside Chopra and Manu in the final on Sunday, capping off a successful week for the nation. This August is genuinely Indian, with a historic Moon landing, a young chess prodigy competing in the World Cup final, and three javelin throwers vying for a medal at the World Championships.

Author: Deltin7News
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