Annu Rani made headlines recently when the Indian javelin thrower qualified for the final of World Athletics Championships 2022 final with a 59.60 metres throw. The qualification marked her second-consecutive final at the event, where she also reached in the 2019 edition. 

An Olympian and a national record holder in India, Annu Rani is a well-recognised face in Indian sporting circuits. However, the athlete has not been able to claim headlines like her compatriot Neeraj Chopra, who became India’s first sportsperson to claim a gold medal in athletics in the Olympics. Annu Rani, on the other hand, has not been celebrated in a similar manner, but remains as one of India’s best in her event. Let’s take a look at who she is and how her career has panned out till now.

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Born on August 28, 1992, in Bahadurpur village in Uttar Pradesh, her talent was first spotted by her elder brother Upendra. He began to train her by throwing sugarcane sticks, before she made her first Javelin stick from a piece of bamboo. The financial condition of her family was not good, however, her brother began to pay for her training despite her father’s disapproval.

While she began participating in competitions from 2010, Annu Rani broke a 14-year old national record four years later in 2014, during the National Inter-State Athletics Championship in Lucknow. She registered a throw of 58.83 metres, winning the gold medal in the process. The throw also helped her qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she finished in the eighth spot.

She truly broke out in the limelight in 2014 as Annu Rani went on to win the bronze medal at the Asian Games that year, when she registered a 59.53 metres throw.

The athlete continued to impress as she broke her own national record twice in the next five years. One of the records came in 2016, when she registered a 60.01 metres throw at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships, while the other came in 2019 in Qatar, where she won the silver medal with a 62.34 metres throw at the Asian Athletics Championships.

Her heroics at the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships in Qatar helped her to qualify for the World Athletics Championships. She also became the first Indian woman javelin thrower to qualify for the event.

Annu Rani added one more medal to her kitty at the IAAF World Challenge event, when she won the bronze medal in Czech Republic.

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She was part of the Indian contingent to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, however, she failed to qualify for the main event after finishing at the 29th spot in the qualificationṣ. 

However, the Olympics failure did not limit her as the 29-year-old scripted history when she qualified for the final of World Athletics Championships for consecutive times in 2022. She finished at the seventh spot with a 61.12 metres throw on July 23.

She is part of Indian contingent which will be participating in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.