Carrying the hopes of the entire country on his young shoulders, Neeraj Chopra came short of a top-class performance as he finished seventh in Group A qualification round of the men's javelin throw competition to put himself in doubt of a final round appearance in the World Championships here today.
Neeraj could not hurl the iron spear to the the automatic final round qualification mark of 83m in his three attempts with his best effort of 82.26m coming in his opening throw.
The 19-year-old world junior record holder then fouled his second attempt before clearing only 80.54m in his third and final throw at the Olympic Stadium here.
Neeraj, who has a personal best of 86.48m and season's best of 85.63m, will now have to wait the result of the Group B qualification round later in the day to see if he qualifies for final round or not.
Five throwers, including world season leader Johannes Vetter (91.20m today) of Germany, came up with automatic qualification throws while Hamish Peacock of Australia was ahead of Neeraj at sixth spot in Group A with a best throw of 82.46m.
All the throwers who clear 83m or at least 12 best performers will make it to the final round to be held on August 12.
The other Indian in the fray, Davinder Singh Kang, will compete in the Group B qualification round.
"I tried my best but I could not clear the automatic qualification mark of 83m and I am disappointed. I gave a lot of effort in the first throw but it missed the 83m mark by a few centimetres. There were some problems in the second throw and the third one also did not go the distance (of 83m). I have been training hard for this World Championships but I could not do well in the actual competition," Chopra said after his event.
"It would have been ideal if a coach had come with me but that is not in my hands. I don't know what had happened today, I cannot say now whether it was technical issue or other factors," he added.
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