EUGENE: Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra scripted yet another history as he became only the second Indian and first male track and field athlete to win a medal in the World Championships by clinching silver in the javelin throw final.
The 24-year-old Chopra, who had come into the showpiece as a hot medal favourite, produced a best throw of 88.13m to finish second.
The legendary long jumper Anju Booby George was the first Indian to win a medal — bronze — in the World Championships in the 2003 edition in Paris.
Chopra began with a foul throw and had 82.39m and 86.37m to be at fourth after three rounds. He got his rhythm back with a big fourth round throw of 88.13m, his fourth career-best effort, to jump to second place, which he held on to till the end. His fifth and sixth throws were fouls.
Defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada won gold with a best throw of 90.54m while Olympic silver winner Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic took the bronze with 88.09m.
Chopra had topped the Group A qualification round and qualified for the final at second place behind Peters by sending his spear to 88.39m for his third career-best throw. Peters had topped Group B with an effort of 89.91m.
The other Indian in the fray, Rohit Yadav finished at 10th with a best throw of 78.72m. Rohit had finished 11th overall in the qualification round with a best throw of 80.42m.
The 21-year-old Indian had recorded a season’s and personal best of 82.54m while winning a silver at the National Inter-State Championships last month.
Chopra had won Indian athletics‘ maiden gold in the Tokyo Olympics last year. He is only the second Indian to have won an individual gold in the Olympics, after shooter Abhinav Bindra, who clinched the yellow metal in 2008 Beijing Games.