Welcome to the World Champs 2023 Preview Day 12. 

For the next 33 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.

Today, April 28, 2023, we are writing about athletes from Asia.

Our focus today will be Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic javelin champion and World Champis silver medalist from India.

Neeraj Chopra is the first Indian athlete to take a gold medal in an athletics event and the second Indian athlete since India declared independence in 1949.

Chopra is a true prodigy in the event, having begun training in the javelin at the age of 13.

In 2015, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Neeraj won the Asia Junior Championships. He took gold in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2016 and also took the gold in the South Asian Games in Guwahati/Shilong.

The javelin is a hard event on the body, and Neeraj Chopra has experienced his quote of injuries. In 2016, this disrupted his attempt to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

2017 opened again with gold at the Asian Games, as the Indian javelin thrower took gold once again in Bhubaneswar. Chopra threw 85.23 meters. Neeraj was eliminated in the qualifying rounds in London in 2017. He injured the groin after a throw of 83.30m in Zurich Weltkalsse. After that painful injury, Neeraj Chopra closed down the 2017 season so that he could heal.

Neeraj Chopra’s gold in 2018 at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, held in Gold Coast, Australia, was achieved with a throw of 86.47 meters. Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win the javelin in the Commonwealth Games.

The Indian javelin star took gold in the 2018 Asian Games in Djakarta, throwing 88.06m, breaking his own Indian NR with this win!

In 2019, Neeraj Chopra underwent surgery on his right elbow and did not return to competition for sixteen months. The surgery was successful, and he threw 87.86 meters in South Africa, giving him the qualifier for the postponed 2020 Olympics.

Neeraj Chopra’s competitions in the 2021 Olympics were dream-like. He threw 86.65 meters, the longest throw of all the qualifiers, on 4 August 2021. On 7 August 2021, Neeraj became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the javelin with his masterful throw of 87.58. This gold gave India its first gold in athletics and its first Olympic gold since gaining independence.

The phenomenal athlete added a silver in the World Champs in Eugene in July 2022, giving India only its second medal at World Champs in athletics.

As Neeraj Chopra continues with his training for Budapest for the 2022 World Championships with his coach, javelin great Uwe Hohn, watch how it will motivate the young Insidan athletes, who, with each throw, have more and more attention from the sports-crazy country of India.

To read all of our earlier stories in Witness the Wonder, numbers 1-11:

1. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 1; Welcome to the World Champs! https://runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-1-welcome-to-the-world-champs.html

2. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 2, Meeting the Stars of Hungarian Athletics! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-2-meeting-the-stars-of-hungarian-athletics.html

3. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 3, Why you should go to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3.html

4. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 4, Mondo Duplantis & Nafi Thiam are Europe’s finest; how will they do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3-mondo-duplantis-nafi-thiam-are-europes-finest-how-will-they-do-in-budapest.html

5. Witness the Wonder, World Championships Budapest 2023, Day 5, Just What Will Faith Kipyegon Do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-championships-budapest-2023-day-5-just-what-will-faith-kipyegon-do-in-budapest.html

6. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 6, Mutaz Essa Barshim. Will he take a 4th straight title in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-mutaz-essa-barshim-will-he-take-a-4th-straight-title-in-budapest.html

7. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Outdoor Champs Budapest 2023, Day 7, Noah Lyles wants to burn up the track in Budapest in August! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-outdoor-champs-budapest-2023-noah-lyles-wants-to-burn-up-the-track-in-budapest-in-august.html

8. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 8, all About the National Athletics Center https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-8-all-about-the-national-athletics-center.html

9. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 9: Meet Anita Marton, Hungarian star shot putter, who has deadly last-round throws! What will she do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-9-meet-anita-marton-hungarian-star-shot-putter-who-has-deadly-last-round-throws-what-will-she-do-in-budapest.html

10. Witness the Wonder, 2023 World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Day 10: Karsten Warhold is back, what will he do in Budapest over the 400 meter hurdles? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-2023-world-athletics-outdoor-championships-day-10-karsten-warhold-is-back-what-will-he-do-in-budapest-over-the-400-meter-hurdles.html 

The World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be held August 19-27, 2023, and tickets are available now! Click here to learn more about ticket sales: https://tickets.wabudapest23.com/

RunBlogRun suggests a wonderful book on Hungary, The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, by Paul Lendvai, Translated by Ann Major, Princeton University Press, www.pupress.princeton.edu.