Along with Neeraj Chopra, sons of farmers — DP Manu & Kishore Jena — made it to the finals of World Athletics Championships
Neeraj Chopra brought back the gold in Javelin Throw from the World Athletics Championships in Hungary. Along with him, two other Indian javelin throwers made it to the final and helped India achieve another milestone. Both come from farming families.
गाँव कनेक्शन 28 Aug 2023 3:17 PM GMT
In a remarkable achievement, Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra brought home the gold from the World Athletics Championship 2023, in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Chopra becomes the first Indian to win gold.
There were two other javelin throwers along with Chopra who qualified for the finals. DP Manu and Kishore Jena both competing in the same group with Chopra, also made it to the final held yesterday, on August 27.
Manu and Jena added to India’s glory as this is the first time three Indians have qualified for the final event in World Athletics Championship.
Like Chopra, who is a native of village Khandra, 14 km from Panipat in Haryana, the other two athletes — Manu and Jena — also have their roots in rural India and come from humble backgrounds.
A farmer’s son, DP Manu
From Hassan in Karnataka, 23-year-old Manu was born into a family of farmers. While Manu was predisposed to playing cricket in his early days, things changed when a school teacher introduced him to javelin.
Manu would practise for hours with a bamboo spear because he did not have a proper javelin to work with.
Soon enough, the athlete caught the attention of Kashinath Naik, Manu's coach and a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. In 2022, Manu threw his personal best of 84.35m to win the Inter-State championships in Chennai, and this put him on the sporting map.
Kishore Jena, a paddy farmer’s son
Jena's athletic journey is defined by resilience and adaptability. With no sports background, he too is the son of a paddy farmer in Kothasahi village in Puri district, Odisha.
Jena started off as a volleyball player but he dropped out because of his height of 5 feet 8 inches. And, shifted to javelin throwing.
In 2015 when he was 20 years old, he moved to a sports hostel in Bhubaneswar and began training under a local coach. Later, he shifted base to Bhopal and took part in a national competition in 2017.
Till 2020, he was struggling, failing to throw 70m consistently but joining the national camp in Patiala was a game-changer. Coach Samarjeet Singh Malhi began to train him and after that there has been no looking back for the 28-year-old.