Heading into the World Athletics Championships 2022, set to be held at Eugene in Oregon, USA from July 15 to 24, Anju Bobby George’s women’s long jump bronze at Paris in 2003 remains India’s only medal at the worlds.
Expectations of a second, and perhaps more, however, will be high at World Athletics Championships Oregon22. For the first time in history, the Indian contingent at the worlds will have a reigning Olympic champion in their ranks.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who created history by winning a gold, India’s first athletics medal at the Summer Olympics, at Tokyo 2020, will be spearheading the Indian charge at Eugene.
Having missed the 2019 meet with an injury, Neeraj Chopra will be eager to end India’s long medal drought at the world meet. The 24-year-old qualified for the World Athletics Championships 2022, courtesy his Olympic medal-winning throw at Tokyo.
The 87.58m attempt comfortably breached the World Athletics Championships 2022 qualifying standard of 85m and confirmed Neeraj’s spot at the Eugene meet.
Each federation (country) can send a maximum of three qualified athletes, one qualified team in case of relay teams, per event at the World Athletics Championships 2022. Extra wild card entries, reserved only for reigning world champions and winners of certain high-priority athletics events from last year, are also allowed.
To qualify, athletes and teams have three avenues. They can either meet the world athletics championships qualifying standards at any sanctioned event within a specified qualification window. Qualification through world rankings, as it stands at the end of the qualification period, is also possible.
The third way to qualify is through finishing positions at particular events over the course of the qualification window.
Avinash Sable also breached the qualifying mark (8:22.00) in the 3000m steeplechase on multiple occasions. He clocked 8.18.12 at Tokyo 2020 and recently timed a national record-setting 8.16.21 at the India Grand Prix 2.
Olympian Tajinderpal Singh Toor (men’s shot put) has also breached the qualifying mark for world championships.
Three race walkers, Priyanka Goswami (women’s 20km), Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Kumar (men’s 20km) are also qualified courtesy meeting their marks at the National Race Walking Championships in Ranchi held in February 2021. The same runs had also helped them qualify for Tokyo 2020. Rahul Kumar's entry, however, was later withdrawn.
Discus thrower Seema Punia and race walker Bhawna Jat's entries were also withdrawn.
India had a total of 23 athletes compete at the 2019 worlds. For the 2022 World Athletics Championships, India have named a 23-member team.
Indians qualified for World Athletics Championships 2022
*Subject to fitness, Arokia Rajiv will replace if unfit
**Subject to fitness trials