Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra.   -  AFP

The country’s biggest star in athletics, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has had a wonderful 2018, winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and Asian Games in Indonesia.

The 21-year-old Asian champion, Chopra won the Asian Games gold in August with 88.06m which broke his own national record. He has been a consistent performer in the IAAF Diamond League, a series open to the world’s best, including a fourth-place finish in the season-ending event in Zurich which came three days after the Jakarta Asiad.

Clearly, no Indian comes anywhere close to Chopra when it comes to world-class performances in 2018 and he has been competing at the highest level.

With three men – World champion Johannes Vetter, Olympic champion Thomas Rohler and Andreas Hoffman (all Germans) – going over 90m this year and four others very close to that landmark, the javelin throw is close to its strongest phase ever but Chopra has proved that he belongs to this elite group despite being the youngest in the world’s top ten this year.

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