Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has spurred global interest with his exploits. Already a superstar back home in India, he has become the face of athletics for the country.

In a latest achievement, Neeraj has displaced the legendary sprinter Usain Bolt to top the list of the most written about athletes for the first time in 2022.

The 24-year-old top athlete from India had an amazing year in javelin throw as he finished runner-up in the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. He became only the second Indian to win a medal at such a level after Anju Bobby George’s bronze in the women’s long jump in 2003. He also became the first athlete from India to win the Diamond League final in Javelin as he clinched gold medal with a massive throw of 88.44m.

As per World Athletics which has quoted figures from media analysis company, Neeraj is the front-runner in popularity charts with 812 articles. It is better than that of a troika of Jamaican women sprint stars, Elaine Thompson-Herah, with 751 articles, world 100m champion Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce (698) and world 200m champion Shericka Jackson (679). Meanwhile Bolt has featured in 574 articles.

Reacting on the development, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said, “2022 looks and feels very different to me.”