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Neeraj Chopra writes history by winning Tokyo Olympics gold
Neeraj Chopra
UNI

Neeraj Chopra writes history by winning Tokyo Olympics gold

| @indiablooms | 07 Aug 2021, 09:02 pm

Tokyo: India's Neeraj Chopra roared in the pages of history as he threw 87.58 metres to clinch the first gold medal ever won by an Indian in the track-and-field event, making the country proud and giving moments of rejoice to a nation which will celebrate Independence Day in the next few days.

Neeraj, who won the Arjuna Award, clinched the Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2018, creating hopes of Olympic triumph and he did not let the country down.

Neeraj’s fine success was a pleasant surprise for the country. Though everybody expected a podium finish by the former Asian and Commonwealth champion, they were not  sure that it would be a gold. But the young Junior Commissioned Officer of Indian army rose to the occasion to leave behind his superior rivals keeping his cool when it mattered most.

Chopra, who hails from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana threw a best of attempt of 87.58m in the finals to end India's 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics.

Cool and composed Neeraj cleared a distance of 87.03 metres in his first throw. This was enough to win the gold as none of the other competitors could surpass this distance. But Neeraj  improved his performance further with a throw of 87.58 metre in the second attempt bringing joy and pride to the more than 1.3  billion Indians.

Czech won both the silver and the bronze through J Vadlejch  (85.44m) and V Vasely (85.30 m) respectively.   

Thus the 23-year-old beat Czech Republic duo Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely to grab the yellow medal.

As the Javelin event completed, the Sonepat youth took a little time to realize that he emerged as the best. 

Commenting on his  superb win, Neeraj said: “It feels unbelievable”.  “At the qualification round I did well and knew I would do well in the final. But I did not know it would be gold," Neeraj said. "I am very happy. It is very proud moment for and thee country,” he added. 

Neeraj dedicated the gold to athletics legend Milkha Singh and those Indian competitors at this game who missed their  medal  narrowly.

Apart from Abhinav Bindra, who had won a gold medal in shooting in 2008, Neeraj became the second Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics.

The javelin final even had a India-Pakistan clash as Arshad Nadeem, the javelin thrower from across the border, finished fifth in the event.

Nadeem threw for 82.91m on his opening attempt of the final round and 81.98m on the second. His final attempt of the round and competition was a foul as he finished fifth - just two shy of a podium finish that would have netted him a rare medal, reports Dawn News.

The moment: How it happened?

Neeraj Chopra - who had also finished top of qualifying - began with a 87.03m throw at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, the best of anyone after their first attempts.

The Indian javelin thrower then improved to 87.58m with his second throw to maintain his place at the top and went only 76.79m in his third attempt.

However, Chopra’s fourth and fifth attempts were foul throws but he finished strong with 84.24m.

Bettering PT Usha and Milkha:

With his historic achievement, Chopra has done something which the likes of late Milkha Singh and P T Usha could not do in 1960 and 1984 editions.

Neeraj's achievement:

He won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where he set a then new Indian national record of 88.06m, and was flag bearer at the opening ceremony. Neeraj Chopra has since broken his own record, throwing 88.07m at the Indian Grand Prix in 2021.

The javelin thrower also won gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, was 2016 IAAF World U20 champion, and set the world junior record, of 86.48m.

Indian PM Narendra Modi speaks with Neeraj, congratulates him:

Indian PM Narendra Modi tweeted; " ust spoke to@Neeraj_chopra1 and congratulated him on winning the Gold! Appreciated his hardwork and tenacity, which have been on full display during #Tokyo2020. He personifies the best of sporting talent and sportsman spirit. Best wishes for his future endeavours."

President wishes Neeraj:

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind also praised Neeraj and tweeted: "Unprecedented win by Neeraj Chopra!Your javelin gold breaks barriers and creates history. You bring home first ever track and field medal to India in your first Olympics. Your feat will inspire our youth. India is elated! Heartiest congratulations!"

(Reporting by Manik Banerjee and Supriyo Hazra) 

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