India’s Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra on Monday surged to the top of the latest men’s javelin throw and is the new World No.1 in the rankings issued by the World Athletics.
Chopra was leading the ranking with 1455 points, 22 ahead of Grena’a’s Anderson Peters. Chopra had been at the No.2 position since August 30, 2022, but overtook Peters, the reigning world champion, this week.
Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch is placed third with 1410 points with Julian Webber of Germany in fourth with 1385 points and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem at fifth on 1306 points.
The No. 1 ranking will come as a boost for Chopra, who will next compete at the FBK Games 2023 on June 4 in the Netherlands. He also confirmed his participation at the Paavo Nurmi Games 2023 in Turku, Finland, on June 13.
The 25-year-old from Haryana has risen to the top of the rankings based on superb performances since September last year, when Chopra won the Diamond League 2022 finals in Zurich, becoming the first Indian athlete to win the prestigious Diamond League trophy.
However, he was out of action with an injury following the triumph in Zurich.
Chopra, who holds the Indian national record in men’s javelin throw, returned to action at the season-opening Doha Diamond League on May 5 this year and finished first with a throw of 88.67m. Anderson Peters managed 85.88m to finish third at the Doha meeting.
Chopra’s surge to the top is a pointer to his brilliant form ahead of next year’s Paris Olympics.
Rohit Yadav, world No. 15, and DP Manu, world No. 17, are the other Indian javelin throwers in the top 20.
In Men’s 3000m steeplechase, India’s Avinash Sable is in the top 20, placed 14th with 1286 points in the rankings led by Soufiane EL Bakkali of Morocco.