Indian Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra is now the No. 1 javelin thrower in the world.
Chopra, who won the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, secured the top spot in the latest men’s javelin throw world rankings released by World Athletics on Monday.
Garnering a total of 1,455 points, Chopra is now 22 points ahead of Anderson Peters (1,433 points), the reigning world champion from Grenada. Chopra attained the world No. 2 spot on Aug. 30, 2022, and had remained in Peters’ shadow until now.
Chopra has been widely praised on social media, with commenters calling him a “superhero” for bringing honor to his country.
With Chopra’s ascent to the top, India is proving to be a powerhouse in javelin throwing. Other Indian nationals in the top 20 include Rohit Yadav at No. 15 and DP Manu at No. 17.
The 25-year-old Indian athlete’s current top ranking marks a major milestone in his career, which is already full of numerous accolades and achievements.
Not only was Chopra the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics, but he was also the first Asian athlete to ever win an Olympic gold medal in men’s javelin throw.
In September last year, Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win at the prestigious Diamond League 2022 finals in Zurich.
After sustaining an injury that forced him to take a break, Chopra returned to action in grand fashion at the season-opening Doha Diamond League on May 5, clinching first place with an impressive throw of 88.67 meters (approximately 291 feet). Meanwhile, Peters only managed 85.88m, landing in third at the Doha meet. The victory ultimately set the stage for Chopra’s subsequent rise in the global rankings.
Chopra is set to compete next at the FBK Games 2023 on June 4 in the Netherlands, followed by the Paavo Nurmi Games 2023 in Turku, Finland, on June 13.
The athlete is also expected to showcase his javelin skills at the Paris 2024 Olympics, where he will aim to further etch his name in history.