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A look at the standout performances in Indian Athletics in 2022

In many ways, 2022 has been the year where Indian athletics shone - we take a look at the standout performances by Indian athletes - from Neeraj Chopra to Murali Sreeshankar, who have made this year exceptional.

indian athletics top performances 2022 neeraj chopra priyanka goswami murali sreeshankar

Priyanka Goswami (left), Neeraj Chopra and Murali Sreeshankar - standout performance by Indian athletes


The Bridge Desk

Published: 13 Sep 2022 2:21 PM GMT

If Neeraj Chopra's golden triumph at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 had us believing that the best has already arrived, it has so turned out that Neeraj's gold was just the starting spark for Indian athletics to boom and bloom - and it has done so, consistently and most brilliantly in 2022, giving us a range of athletes to celebrate for their heroics.

Not just the javelin throw that catapulted India's name on the global athletics stage, India has made progress by leaps and bounds across a variety of track and field events to take a hold of the upward curve that Indian athletics is currently witnessing.

From Chopra winning the Diamond League crown - a first-ever by an Indian to Murali Sreeshankar dazzling at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games or even, Priyanka Goswami making heads turn in Race Walking at the CWG - it has been a great year for Indian athletics.

As the global season is drawing to a close, we take a look at the best performances by our Indian athletes.

The National Games also remain - where many more of such heroics are expected.

Here's looking at the standout Indian athletes of 2022:

#1 Neeraj Chopra - Javelin

Neeraj Chopra

The golden boy from the Tokyo Olympics further cemented his status as the GOAT of Indian athletics by ticking off an impressive season that saw him clinch India's first-ever World Athletics Championships silver medal and first-ever Diamond League crown, too.

Breaking his own National Record and setting one anew, dangerously close to the 90m mark, Chopra hurled the javelin to a distance of 89.94m at the Stockholm Diamond League early into the season. Soon, he followed it up with a silver medal from the World Athletics Championships - a rave feat for an Indian athlete. Taking some time off to heal a groin injury, Chopra made a dashing comeback and won the Lausanne Diamond League Meet before going to win the title itself in Zurich, a couple of weeks later.

#2 Murali Sreeshankar - Long Jump

Murali Sreeshankar

Long jumper Murali Sreeshankar has had quite the year - replete with a National Record to his name and a Commonwealth Games silver medal as well. Jumping a distance of 8.36m at the Federation Cup, the youngster achieved quite the high and followed it up with an impressive show at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games where he jumped 8.08m to clinch the silver.

#3 Eldhose Paul - Triple Jump

Eldhose Paul

Creating history at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, triple jumper Eldhose Paul became the first Indian to win gold in the men's triple jump event in the history of the Games after a thriller 17.03m leap on the third jump that assured him the yellow metal. This was also his personal best as the Indian managed to cross the hallowed 17m mark just when it was required, despite a slow start.

Not only that but fellow Indian triple jumper Abdulla Aboobacker's 17.02m also guaranteed India a double podium finish in the event.

#4 Rupal Chaudhary - Running

Rupal Chaudhary

Arriving on the scene like a sensation, 17-year-old Rupal Chaudhary created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to win two medals at the World U20 Athletics Championship as she followed up her 4x400m relay silver with a bronze medal in the women's 400m.

Chaudhary, who has had a great year, ran her personal best time twice in the World U20 Athletics Championships, first a 52.27s in the semi-finals before bettering it in the final with a 51.85 seconds showdown.

Only Hima Das had won another medal - a historic gold with a 51.46 seconds dash, in 2018, in the women's 400m race in this event, before Rupal in 2022.

#5 Avinash Sable - Steeplechase

Avinash Sable

Dominating the Indian athletics field, Avinash Sable set a National Record at the Commonwealth Games en route to winning India's first-ever medal in the steeplechase with a brilliant silver. Breaking his own National Record for the third time in five months, Sable clocked 8:11.20 to win silver and denied the Kenyans a clean sweep since Canada's Graeme Vincent Fell in 1994 in the 3000m men's steeplechase event.

Not only that, Avinash Sable broke a 30-year-old national record in the men's 5000m in only his second race when he clocked 13:25.65s at the Sound Running Track Meet in San Juan Capistrano, USA in 2022. He broke the previous record of 13:29.70 set by Bahadur Singh in Birmingham in 1992.

#6 Priyanka Goswami - Racewalking

Priyanka Goswami

Priyanka Goswami made heads turn as she emerged as a force in Racewalking, rather unheralded. Goswami set the National Record at 1:28.45 for the 20km Race Walk while at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Goswami secured India's first-ever silver medal at the Games by clocking 43:38.83 in the 10km Race Walk event, making this year a standout one for herself.

#7 Jyothi Yarraji - Hurdles

Jyothi Yarraji

Boasting a record of being the fastest woman hurdler in India, Jyothi Yarraji has been a trailblazer, shattering one National Record after the other. Although she was denied the record twice due to factors beyond her control, Jyothi soon made her way into the history books. Marking her international debut at the Cyprus International athletics meet, Jyothi Yarraji finally pocketed the women's 100m hurdles national record with a timing of 13.23 seconds, shattering the previous mark of 13.38 set by Anuradha Biswal way back in 2002, bringing a 20-year wait to an end.

Soon she bettered this mark twice and came up with new National Records. After a 13.11s gold medal-winning run at the Loughborough International in the UK in May, she shaved down the timing further to 13.04s at the Harry Schulting Games in the Netherlands to create history.

#8 Annu Rani - Javelin

Annu Rani

The best Indian female javelin athlete Annu Rani has also been a force to watch out for this year. Rani bettered her own national record with a throw of 63.82m in her first attempt to win the women's javelin event at the 4th Indian Open Javelin throw competition in Jamshedpur in May this year - shattering her previous record of 63.24m at the National Interstate Athletic Championship in Patiala.

Not only that, but Rani also scripted history as she became the first Indian female javelin thrower to win a medal, a bronze, in the Commonwealth Games on the penultimate day in Birmingham, as well with a throw of 60m to finish with a bronze.

#9 Amlan Borgohain - Running

Amlan Borgohain

Breaking out on the scene, Amlan Borgohain sprinted to win the gold medal in the men's 200m race at the National Federation Cup Senior Athletics 2022 in Kozhikode and ended up clocking a timing of 20.52s – that shattered the National Record of 20.63 set by Rio Olympian Muhammed Anas Yahiya in 2018.

With a 200m record already to his name, the Assamese sprinter showed no signs of stopping and broke a 2016 national record of Amiya Kumar Mallick (10.26s) by clocking 10.25s at the 87th All-India Inter-Railway athletics championships in Rae Bareli in the 100m race.

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