The others in fray are US shotputter Ryan Crouser, world champion and world record-holder; Sweden’s pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis, world champion; and Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon ace who has been a world record breaker and won the London and Chicago marathons.
‘’The five athletes, who represent four countries from four area associations, have achieved sensational performances across a range of athletics disciplines in 2023, winning titles and breaking world records at the World Athletics Championships 2023, one-day meeting circuits, Label Road races and other events around the world,’’ World Athletics said in a release.
As for Chopra, it has been a dream journey for the 25-year-old army officer from Panipat since his golden moment in the Tokyo Olympics, with no peaks unscaled apart from a personal milestone of crossing the 90-metre mark.
He came agonisingly close to it with his best effort of 89.94 metres at the Stockholm Diamond League last year, and has kept a wary eye on Shahbaz Nadeem, his friend and arch-rival from Pakistan, who achieved the target while winning his Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham.
Chopra, who had to sit out the last Commonwealth Games with an injury, threw 88.17 metres in his second attempt at the Worlds for the gold this year.