LONDON, Aug 11: Unheralded javelin thrower Davinder Singh Kang pipped a more-fancied Neeraj Chopra to become the first Indian to qualify for a final in this edition of the World Athletics Championship.
Kang�s participation in the World Championships had been in doubt after he tested positive for marijuana in June but he was named in the 25-member Indian team as the banned substance was in the specified list of the WADA Code and does not attract automatic suspension.
�After I came to know that Neeraj did not qualify, 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 told PTI after his event.
No Indian has ever qualified for the men�s javelin throw final round in any World Championships and Kang�s performance brought some relief for the Indian camp, which has put up a shoddy show at the global event.
While it was Chopra, a junior World Champion, who was touted as India�s biggest hope, it ended up being Kang who came out from nowhere to attain the qualifying mark of 83m with his third and final throw that cleared a distance of 84.22m.
Chopra�s best effort of 82.26m was slightly short of the qualifying mark.
Coming into the championships, Chopra was the cynosure of all eyes for the Indian contingent as he was considered the best bet for a top class show. His best effort came in his first qualifying throw.
He fouled his second attempt before clearing only 80.54m in his third and final throw to finish seventh in his group and 15th overall. � PTI