Davinder Singh Kang becomes first Indian to qualify for javelin throw finals

Davinder Singh Kang has become the first Indian to qualify for the final round of the javelin throw World Championships in London while his more fancied compatriot Neeraj Chopra crashed out in the qualification round.

Competing in the qualification round, Kang, who was carrying a shoulder injury, cleared the automatic qualification mark of 83m in his third and final throw as he sent the iron spear to a distance of 84.22m. He had a 82.22m in his opening throw and then came up with 82.14m in his second.

The 26-year-old athlete from Punjab was under pressure to touch the 83m in his final attempt and he was the last man to take the throw. He did it in style by sending the spear beyond the qualification mark to the huge relief of the Indian camp.

Thirteen throwers — five from Group A and seven from Group B crossed the automatic qualification mark of 83m and all of them will compete in the final round on August 12.

Kang’s best effort of 84.22m put him in the seventh position among the final round qualifiers. His final round qualification was all the more noteworthy as he was carrying an injury since the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi in May. He competed yesterday with his right shoulder strapped.

No Indian has ever qualified in the men’s javelin throw final round in any world championship.

“After I came to know that Neeraj did not qualify (for the final round), I wanted to qualify for the final round. I wanted to do something for the country, I wanted to do something which no Indian has done before. By the grace of God, I did something for the country,” Kang said.

(Agencies)

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