Athletes Varakil, Neeraj shine at Asian Grand Prix

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Jiaxing (China), April 27 (IANS) Indian athletes shone bright at the Asian Grand Prix athletics meet here on Thursday with Neena Varakil and Neeraj Chopra clinching gold and silver respectively.

Varakil claimed gold in the women’s long jump with an attempt of 6.37 metres.

China’s Xu Xiaoling and Jiang Yanfei finished second and third respectively.

Varakil had earlier claimed silver with a jump of 6.46 metres in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix.

Neeraj, meanwhile, clinched his second silver medal at the Asian Grand Prix with a throw of 83.32 metres in the men’s javelin.

His effort also earned the 19-year-old from Haryana a spot at the 2017 World Championships, to be held in London in August.

The junior world record-holder had earlier claimed silver in the first leg of the competition with a throw of 82.11 metres.

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Chopra, who hails from Khandra village in Panipat district, beat the World Championships qualification standard for the men’s javelin, which is set at 83 metres.

“I’m extremely happy to have hit the qualification mark for the IAAF World Championships. I’ve been in training with my coach Garry Calvert and it feels amazing to be able to finally achieve what I had come here for,” Neeraj said after the feat.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement and I’ll be looking to do better at the World Championships.”

Taiwan’s Cheng Chao-Tsun claimed gold in the event after his throw of 86.92 m surpassed his own national record.

His compatriot Huang Shih-Feng finished third with a throw of 78.55 metres while Indian Kheera Ravinder Singh finished just outside the top-three with a throw of 75.22 metres.

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Neeraj will take part in his first World Championships, after setting the junior world record at the IAAF World U-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in July last year with a throw of 86.48 metres.



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