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‘Indians Can Do Anything,’ Says Neeraj Chopra After Winning World C’Ships Gold

Neeraj Chopra dedicated his historic 2023 World Athletics Championships gold medal to his Indian fans.

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Following his gold medal triumph at the 2023 World Athletics Championships on Sunday, 27 August, Neeraj Chopra dedicated the victory to his fans in India, who had to stayed up late to witness the nation’s ‘golden boy’ adding another feather to his cap.

“I would like to thank every Indian, because they are staying up all night to support me. This medal is for them. I became an Olympic champion first, and now, I am a world champion. We (Indians) can do anything. Just keep working hard,” Neeraj was seen saying to the journalists after his victory.

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The 25-year-old clinched the medal with an 88.17m throw, which came in his second attempt, to win his second World Athletics Championships medal after the silver he won last year in Oregon.

Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem took the silver medal, the first World Championship medal for his country, with a distance of 87.82 while Czech Republic's Yakub Vadlejch retained the bronze he won in Oregon last year, with a distance of 86.67. 

The two other Indians in the fray too did their best but could not finish on the podium -- Kishore Kumar Jena, who had to overcome visa problems to reach Budapest, finished fifth with a personal best throw of 84.77 while D.P. Manu finished sixth with 84.14.

“Everyone said this is the only medal I was missing – it has been achieved now. I still need to hit the 90m mark. I thought I would be able to do it today, but winning the gold medal was the most important outcome. Many competitions are coming up and I have time on my side, so I will work harder for those competitions,” the Olympic gold medallist added.

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Need To Be Fully Fit To Run a Lot Faster: Neeraj Chopra

Albeit he did enough to script history, Neeraj was seen at his absolute best on Sunday, considering the high ceiling he has set for himself. The second attempt was the only instance of him crossing the 88m mark, whilst his other attempts were 86.32m, 84.64m, 87.73m and 83.98m.

In an honest admission, Neeraj stated he had difficulties with his pace. “I had planned to have a good first throw but it did not happen, owing to some technical problems. I was too careful about my throws and did not go at my 100% speed. When I don’t go at full speed, I get the feeling that something is missing. I need to get myself to full fitness, to run a lot faster,” he concluded.

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