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'It feels unbelievable' : Neeraj Chopra on his javelin gold, dedicates the medal to legendary Milkha Singh Neeraj Chopra | Milkha Singh
twitter.com/Olympics/status/1423989917198299148/photo/4 / IBNS Photo

'It feels unbelievable' : Neeraj Chopra on his javelin gold, dedicates the medal to legendary Milkha Singh

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 07 Aug 2021, 09:29 pm

Tokyo/IBNS/UNI: "It feels unbelievable," India's Neeraj Chopra reacted for the first time after winning a historic gold medal in the men's javelin throw event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Chopra won the only gold medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday which was special in more ways than one.

This is India's first ever medal in track and field events and second gold in individual events at the Games after Abhinav Bindra won gold in shooting at the Beijing Olympics.

"It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good. We have just one gold here in other sports," the 23-year-old said after winning the historic gold.

"This is our first Olympic medal for a very long time, and in athletics it is the first time we have won gold, so it's a proud moment for me and my country," Neeraj said.

Asked if he was surprised to clinch the gold in the contest which also featured German great Johannes Vetter, "In the qualification round I threw very well so I knew I could do better in the final."

"(But) I didn't know it would be gold but I am very happy."

The star javelin thrower then dedicated his medal to legendary Milkha Singh.

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

Neeraj also became only the second individual Indian athlete after Abhinav Bindra to win an Olympic medal. Bindra had won the gold in shooting in 2008 London Olympics.

With his feat, Chopra also fulfilled Milkha Singh's dream to win a gold medal in track and field at the Olympics.

"I dedicate this medal to Milkha Singh. Hopefully he'll be watching this from the heavens," Chopra said after his gold medal.

Milkha Singh, one of India's greatest-ever athletes, who passed away due to Covid-19 complications in June this year, often spoke about how he wished to see an Indian athlete bringing back the Olympic medal that he dropped at the 1960 Olympics.

Neeraj also mentioned that he was not thinking about gold medals and he wanted to do something special in the final of the javelin event.

"I didn’t think about the gold medal. I wanted to do something special today. I wanted to break the Olympic record and overdid it because of that," he said.

Former Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju wrote in a Twitter post that Neeraj has fulfilled Milkha Singh's dream.

Neeraj's gold took India’s medal count at Tokyo 2020 to seven - making it their best-ever haul at a single Olympics.

India had won 6 medals at the London Olympics 2012.