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Annu Rani and Kishore Jena - The future of Javelin throw for Indian sports

Annu Rani and Kishore Jena - The future of Javelin throw for Indian sports

Deepa Ramasubramanian

Updated: 20 Oct 2023 3:13 PM GMT

For more insights into Kishore Jena's inspiring journey, visit KhelRaja.In a spectacular showcase of their talents, Annu Rani and Kishore Jena emerged as the gold medalists in javelin throw at the Lebanon Athletics Championships and Annu Rani won gold and Kishore Jena won the silver at the Asian Games 2023. Annu recorded an impressive throw of 62.92 meters, while Kishore's performance stood out at 87.54 meters. These achievements mark a significant milestone in their careers, suggesting a promising future for javelin throw in Indian sports.

Annu Rani's Journey in Women's Javelin Throw

Annu Rani, the current national record holder in women's javelin throw, recently made headlines with her historic gold medal at the Asian Games in 2023, where she achieved a remarkable throw of 62.92 meters. Her journey began in Bahadarpur village in Uttar Pradesh, where her initial family resistance couldn't deter her dreams of becoming an athlete.

Growing up in a conservative environment, Annu's family was initially against her choice of becoming an athlete. However, with support from her father, Upendra, she embarked on her journey. Annu began her training by hurling sugarcane stalks in empty fields, displaying remarkable dedication and determination.

Annu's performances at the junior level caught the attention of coach Kashinath Naik, a former Commonwealth Games bronze medalist. He became her mentor, and under his guidance, Annu rapidly progressed in the sport. She soon qualified for the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, marking her as the first Indian woman to reach the finals in women's javelin throw.

Despite initially falling short of the Olympic qualification threshold, Annu secured a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics based on her international rankings. Her journey was filled with hard work, commitment, and consistent improvement. Annu Rani's dedication to her craft was truly inspiring, as she continued to break her own records, ultimately achieving a national record with a throw of 63.24 meters at the National Interstate Athletic Championship in Patiala in 2021.

In 2023, Annu Rani achieved her most significant feat by clinching a gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Her remarkable throw of 62.92 meters marked her as the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in javelin throw at a world stage. Her victory was a testament to her resilience and hard work, as she overcame personal struggles and doubts. For more exciting sports betting click here.

Kishore Jena's remarkable journey from volleyball to javelin throw stardom

Kishore Kumar Jena's journey to becoming a prominent javelin thrower was marked by unexpected twists and incredible determination. Hailing from the serene town of Brahmagiri in Puri District, Odisha, Kishore's journey took an unconventional path. In the beginning, Kishore's athletic pursuits were centered around volleyball. During his time at the Bhubaneswar Sports Hostel, he focused on excelling in this sport, with his talents earning him a place at the Odisha government's Sports Hostel.

Kishore's introduction to javelin throw happened by chance when he crossed paths with Laxman Baral, a former Odisha state champion, and javelin enthusiast. Impressed by Kishore's athleticism during a volleyball game, Baral gifted him a hand-made bamboo javelin worth Rs 250 (about 3 US dollars).

Under the mentorship of coach Nilamadhab Deo at the Bhubaneswar sports hostel, Kishore Jena began training in javelin throw while continuing to excel in volleyball. His athletic journey reached a turning point when he broke his personal best with a throw of 76.41 meters at the highly competitive Odisha State Championships.

In 2018, Kishore secured a job with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in Bhopal, providing vital financial support to his family following his father's unfortunate accident that left him partially paralyzed. While Kishore was content with focusing on his job and winning medals at police events, his throwing coach Jagbir Singh recognized his potential.

Jagbir Singh promised to recommend Kishore for the national camp at Patiala if he could surpass the 75-meter barrier. Kishore Jena achieved this milestone by throwing over 76 meters at the Odisha State Championships in 2021, earning him a spot in the national camp.

The national camp marked a turning point in Kishore's career. With Samarjeet Singh Malhi, an Asian Athletics Championship bronze medalist, as his coach, and a proper training regimen, Kishore's skills reached new heights. His exceptional performances, including a bronze medal with a personal best of 78.05 meters at the National Open Athletics Championships in Bengaluru, made him a contender in the world of javelin throw.

In 2023, Kishore's journey saw him breach the 80-meter mark, first with a gold at the Indian Open Throws Competition in Bellary, improving his personal best to 78.93 meters. He continued to shine at the 2023 Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram, where he impressively crossed the 80-meter barrier with an 81.05-meter throw.

At the national level in Bhubaneswar, Kishore improved his mark to 82.87 meters, and he continued his domination at the Sri Lanka nationals, achieving a personal best of 84.38 meters. Kishore's journey to the World Athletics Championships was far from straightforward. His world javelin ranking initially stood at 31 in June 2023, and due to changes in rankings, it dropped to 41 in July. According to the rules, only the top 36 athletes can compete in the World Athletics Championships.

Kishore Jena faced a critical moment in his career. He had two remaining opportunities to secure his spot in the Lebanon National Championships in Beirut and the Sri Lanka National Athletics. In Lebanon, he achieved a notable throw of 78.96 meters, and in Sri Lanka, he reached new heights with a personal best of 84.38 meters. These exceptional performances not only earned him the title in Sri Lanka but also secured his place in the World Athletics Championships.

Kishore Jena's standout moment arrived at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China. Although he ultimately secured a silver medal behind fellow countryman Neeraj Chopra, Kishore's performance was nothing short of exceptional. The athlete from Puri town gave the reigning Olympic and world champion stiff competition for the top spot in the event.

Before the Asian Games, Kishore's name was known to only a handful of dedicated athletics fans in India. However, his performance in Hangzhou catapulted him into the limelight, a remarkable accomplishment for someone who had only recently transitioned to full-time javelin throw.

Kishore's throw of 84.77 meters in Budapest at the World Athletics Championships marked yet another significant milestone in his career. Despite the pressure of his visa issue, Kishore eventually traveled to Budapest with the support of the Indian government and Neeraj Chopra. Chopra's encouragement during this challenging time further solidified their camaraderie. For more insights into sports betting, visit khelraja.com/sportsbook

Competing in his first major international competition, Kishore Jena showcased his composure and skill by finishing a commendable fifth, just ahead of another Indian, DP Manu. His throw in Budapest was only 1.90 meters short of the bronze medallist, Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic. Kishore Jena's incredible journey from volleyball to becoming a prominent javelin thrower serves as an example to their determination and the incredible potential in Indian sports. His journey reflects the importance of support, training, and opportunity for Indian athletes to shine on the global stage.

Annu Rani and Kishore Jena's journeys are exemplary in showcasing the immense talent and potential in Indian sports. Their triumphs and remarkable performances on both national and international stages have created a wave of excitement for javelin throw in India. The future of javelin throw in Indian sports looks brighter than ever with Annu Rani and Kishore Jena in the sight.

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