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World Athletics Day: Top moments of Indian athletes in recent times

Neeraj Chopra's gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 remains the biggest moment for Indian athletics in the last few years.

World Athletics Day: Top moments of Indian athletes in recent times

Neeraj Chopra, Avinash Sable and Parul Chaudhary have shone through in the sport of track and field in the last few years.


Deepanshu Jain

Updated: 7 May 2024 11:51 AM GMT

Indian athletics has provided plenty of exciting moments for the fans in the last couple of years whether it is Neeraj Chopra's iconic triumph at the Tokyo Olympics, Avinash Sable's special run in Birmingham Commonwealth Games or Parul Chaudhary's last-minute dash in Hangzhou, China, to topple the Japanese runner.

Today, May 7, on the occasion of World Athletics Day, we, at The Bridge, are recollecting, some of those memorable moments of Indian athletics in recent years. The basic objective of this day is to globalise the sport and boost the participation of youths in the sport.

Here, The Bridge is revisiting some of the golden moments of Indian athletics of recent times:

Heroics of Neeraj Chopra

The golden boy of Indian sports, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has been a stalwart for India in the last few years. He did the most unthinkable job at the Tokyo Olympics by clinching India's first-ever gold medal in athletics, marking one of the historic moments for India.

He has kept increasing his trophy cabinet since and set several firsts for the country. He is now the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships and the first Indian to win the Diamond League trophy. Chopra also defended his Asian Games gold last year in Hangzhou.

Grit of Avinash Sable

Avinash Sable, the national record holder in men's steeplechase discipline, is one of the shining stars of Indian athletics. He came into the limelight after winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

This was a very special medal for all the athletics fans of India as he broke the dominance of Kenyan runners and became the first ever non-Kenyan player in 28 years to win a medal in this discipline. Sable followed this up with a gold medal at the Asian Games last year to become the first-ever Indian to win a steeplechase gold.

Excellence of Parul Chaudary

Parul Chaudhary is the newest entrant in Indian top middle-distance running. She showed rapid progress on the world stage. She shocked everyone at the Asian Games last year by winning a gold medal in women's 5000m in an eye-catching race where she toppled the Japanese runner in the last few seconds to clinch the gold.

Parul also broke the seven-year-old national record in women's 3000m steeplechase last year at the World Championships to confirm her ticket to the Paris Olympics. She also owns the national record in 5000m.

Comeback queen - Annu Rani

Annu Rani has been leading the charge in the Indian women's javelin throw for almost a decade. But in the last few years, she was not at her peak and everyone was questioning her capabilities but she made an excellent comeback at the Asian Games last year.

She became the first Indian women's javelin thrower to win a gold medal in this discipline and that too with a massive 62.92m throw, which was her first 60m throw in one year. Annu Rani is now trying hard to qualify for the Paris Olympics with her newly found confidence.

Consistent Jyothi Yarraji

Jyothi Yarraji has been India's most consistent sprinter in recent times, especially in the 100m hurdles. Last year, Yarraji did wonders as she became the first-ever Asian women's 100m hurdles champion in Bangkok, Thailand.

Yarraji also shone on the world stage last year by winning the bronze medal with a new national record timing of 12.78 seconds. She, however, missed the Paris Olympics qualification mark (12.77) by 0.01 seconds at this competition despite making a big impact.

She will now aim to achieve this mark in 2024 and make her debut on the biggest stage, the Olympics in Paris.

More memorable moments of Indian athletics:

Kishore Jena - Making double podium finish for India at the Asian Games alongside Neeraj Chopra. He also qualified for the Paris Olympics.

Kiran Baliyan - She won India's first women's shot put medal in 72 years at the Asian Games.

Men's Relay team - They went toe-to-toe with world champions to make a new Asian record in Budapest last year.

Seema Punia - She won the third Asian Games medal at the age of 40 in the women's discus throw.

Three Indian javelin throwers - Neeraj, Kishore and DP Manu - are in the top 6 of the World Championships.

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