Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh qualifies for Tokyo 2020

He becomes the second Indian javelin thrower after Neeraj Chopra to go to the showpiece event.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

Indian javelin thrower Shivpal Singh confirmed his spot at Tokyo 2020 after he threw 85.47m at the ACNW League Meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa on Tuesday.

It makes him the second javelin thrower to qualify for the Games after Neeraj Chopra, who had also done so at the event in January.

Shivpal Singh had missed the 85m qualifying mark for the 2020 Olympics at the South Asian Games in December but surpassed it with ease this time around.

While Neeraj Chopra has undoubtedly become the face of Indian javelin throwing after his multiple medal hauls at various events, Shivpal Singh is fast rising to carve his own name for the nation.

The 24-year-old won gold in the Military World Games in Wuhan, China in October last year with an 83.33m throw. However, that effort is not even remotely close to his personal best of 86.23m.

The Indian javelin thrower had made headlines in early 2019 when his personal best effort won him the silver medal at the Asian Championships in Doha, a stark improvement from the 82m he was throwing in March of that year, a month before the event.

Javelin throwing in the blood

The sport fascinated Shivpal Singh, who saw his father and uncles play it at a young age and instantly took a liking. In fact, one of his uncles and later his trainer, Jagmohan Singh is a former national champion.

“I must have been 14 when I started trying out the javelin. And my uncle Jagmohan coached me for nearly six years. And he was very strict,” Shivpal Singh had told Indian daily The Hindu in an interview last year.

Shivpal Singh the fourth Indian to qualify in athletics

Javelin throw is part of the athletics field at the 2020 Olympics and Shivpal Singh’s effort makes him the fourth Indian to qualify in the event.

He joins fellow javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, racewalkers KT Irfan and Bhawna Jat and long-distance runner Avinash Sable and the 4x400 mixed relay team as part of the Indian athletics contingent at the 2020 Olympics.