World Athletics Championships 2022 | Neeraj Chopra, Murali Sreeshankar and Avinash Sable brightest medal prospects
Neeraj Chopra will enter the World Championship with a billion aspirations for yet another historic outcome. It won't come as a surprise if long jumper Murali Sreeshankar makes history at the exhibition, which gets underway here on Friday. Chopra is grateful for this season's outstanding results.
The outstanding athlete has twice surpassed his personal best; on June 14 at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, he threw a spear 89.30 metres, and on June 30, at the famous Stockholm Diamond League Meeting, he sent his spear 89.94 metres, just 6 centimetres short of 90 metres. He had previously won the javelin throw competition in the Kuortane Games in Finland, throwing 86.69 metres in slick, rainy circumstances.
Long jumper Murali Sreeshankar, who holds the national record, will be a dark horse because of his 8.36m effort at the Federation Cup in April, which has him tied for second place among all competitors for the season. In the preliminary rounds on Friday (early hours of Saturday in India), he will be seen in action. This season, Sreeshankar, 23, has also delivered consistently. Before earning gold at the National Inter-State Championships with a leap of 8.23m, he had another significant jump of 8.31m in a competition in Greece.
When and where to watch?
15/07/2022- Morning Session (9:35 pm IST- Day 1)
16/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:35 am IST- Day 1)
16/07/2022- Morning Session (11:05 pm IST- Day 2)
17/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:05 am IST- Day 2)
17/07/2022- Morning Session (6:45 pm IST- Day 3)
18/07/2022- Afternoon Session (4:55 am IST- Day 3)
18/07/2022- Morning Session (6:45 pm IST- Day 4)
19/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:00 am IST- Day 4)
20/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:10 am IST- Day 5)
21/07/2022- Afternoon Session (3:50 am- Day 6)
22/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:15 am IST- Day 7)
22/07/2022- Morning Session (6:45 pm IST- Day 8)
23/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:10 am IST- Day 8)
23/07/2022- Morning Session (10:20 pm IST- Day 9)
24/07/2022- Afternoon Session (4:40 am IST- Day 9)
24/07/2022- Morning Session (6:45 pm IST- Day 10)
25/07/2022- Afternoon Session (5:00 am IST- Day 10)
Neeraj Chopra is likely to make history by becoming only the second Indian and the first male athlete from the nation to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships given his current form. The defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada will be Chopra's major competition for the gold medal. Peters boasts four of the top five throws this season, making him the favourite to take home the gold. His finest performance this season, a 93.07, is also the best outcome.
Chopra has defeated Peters twice this season—at the Paavo Nurmi Games and the Kuortane Games—so a gold medal is still within reach. While Chopra has been in excellent health, Peters also had a brief period of difficulty this season because of an injury.
He will also face Olympic silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch (season's best 90.88m), German sprinter Julian Weber (SB 89.54m), 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago (SB 89.07m), and Oliver Helander of Finland (SB 89.83m). Chopra will compete against Rohit Yadav, who placed second in the National Inter-State Championships last month and has a season-best jump of 82.54 metres. On July 21, the men's javelin throws competition's two qualifying rounds will take place, and the final will follow two days later.
He has won eight of his eight games this outdoor season without losing, including victories in the Diamond League in Rabat, Oslo, and Stockholm. Nonetheless, the extremely talented Swiss athlete Simon Ehammer, who is best recognised as a decathlete, is currently leading the season. In May, during an event in Austria, he made a tremendous jump of 8.45 metres. Juan Miguel Echevarria, a silver medalist for Cuba at the Tokyo Olympics, is not competing.
Jeswin Aldrin, another Indian, who jumped 8.37 metres during the Federation Cup with the aid of the wind, will also compete. He wasn't originally called to the Indian team because of a decline in form, but after two rounds of tryouts, he was eventually added.
Avinash Sable will need to decrease his time from his national record effort of 8:12.48 in the men's 3000m steeplechase if he hopes to compete for the podium in a competitive field. On Friday, he will compete in the heat (Early Saturday morning in India).
Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, the reigning Olympic champion, and Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, who took silver at the most recent World Championships and is currently leading the season standings (7:58.28 and 7:58.68 respectively), may compete for the top spot in this race, which has historically been dominated by Kenyan athletes. Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya will also try to hold onto the championship he won in 2019, despite his lacklustre performance this year.
Sandeep Kumar and Priyanka Goswami will also compete in the finals of the men's and women's 20-kilometer race walks on Friday, while Tajinderpal Singh Toor, the shot putter who holds the Asian record, will compete in the preliminary round.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) initially announced a team of 22 athletes, but Aldrin later joined the group. However, three athletes will not compete in the championships. In two sets of trials, quarter-miler Aishwarya Mishra and member of the men's 4x400m relay squad Arokia Rajiv failed to impress the selectors, while 200m runner S Dhanalakshmi experienced visa issues.