TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwanese javelin thrower Cheng Chao-tsun (鄭兆村) took silver at the Diamon League athletics meet in Shanghai on Saturday, a first for Team Taiwan and qualifying him for next year's Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan.
Going into Shanghai's match, Cheng was actually a favorite to take the gold in the event as his winning distance of 86.72 meters in this year's Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar was the best in the world so far this year. However, Andreas Hofmann of Germany bettered Cheng's previous mark with a throw of 87.55 meters
Cheng then countered by nearly catching Hofmann with a throw of 87.12 meters. Although Hofmann edged him out for the gold, Cheng's silver represented the first medal in history for Taiwan at the annual series of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League.
More importantly, his mark exceeded the minimum distance of 85 meters to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He will join shooter Tien Chia-Chen (田家榛) and Wu Chia-Ying (吳佳穎) as the first three Taiwanese athletes to qualify for the Olympics thus far.
Cheng set an Asian record in the javelin when he captured gold with a throw of 91.36 meters at the Taipei 2017 Universiade. However, due to an injury in training, he had to settle for a fifth-place finish in the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018.