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India's Neeraj Chopra competes in the men's javelin throw final during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu on Monday lauded India’s ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra after he won the country’s first gold medal in the prestigious World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest.

Neeraj recorded a best throw of 88.17 metres in his second attempt and held on to his lead over second-placed Pakistani rival Arshad Nadeem till the very end.

Taking to her official handle on X, President Murmu posted, “Neeraj Chopra adds yet another golden page to the history of Indian sports by becoming the first ever Indian to win a gold medal in World Athletics Championships. His superlative performance in the javelin throw finals at Budapest will inspire millions of our youth.”

Unparalleled excellence

Earlier, on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Neeraj on his historic golden harvest in Budapest on X, posting, “The talented @Neeraj_chopra1 exemplifies excellence. His dedication, precision and passion make him not just a champion in athletics but a symbol of unparalleled excellence in the entire sports world. Congrats to him for winning the Gold at the World Athletics Championships.”

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Neeraj Chopra (centre) is flanked by pakistan's Arshad Nadeem (left) and bronze medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic. Image Credit: AFP

Nadeem, the Commonwealth Games champion, settled for silver with a throw of 87.82 metres while Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic secured the bronze with a best throw of 86.67 metres.

Kishore Jena of India (best of 84.77m) finished fifth and his compatriot, DP Manu (best of 84.14m), finished sixth.

Stamping his mark

Now, India has medals of all colours at the World Championships.

The 25-year-old, who won the Olympic gold at the Japan Olympic Games, took silver last year, but he stamped his mark on the final early on with his winning throw coming in the second round.

The flamboyant Chopra fell to the ground after his final throw and kissed the surface before charging towards the crowd.

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Neeraj Chopra celebrates with the gold medal during the presentation ceremony. Image Credit: AFP

Barren end

Germany’s Julian Weber finished fourth and held his hands to his face in disappointment, as his country finished the championships without a medal.

At the first world championships in 1983, East Germany topped the medals table.

India’s last medallist at the prestigious world event was Anju Bobby George back in the 2003 World Championships when she clinched bronze in the women’s long jump.