Neeraj Chopra won independent India’s first-ever athletics medal at Tokyo 2020. He captured gold in the javelin throw final at Tokyo Olympics. He conjured up a fantastic throw of 87.59 m in the finals today. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch won silver with 86.67. His countryman, the veteran, Vitezslav Vesely won bronze with 85.44.
India’s best show at the Olympics:
India bettered their best-ever medal tally winning 7 medals this time. They went one better than their previous best (6) at the London Olympics. P.V. Sindhu (badminton), Lovlina Borgohain (boxing), the men’s hockey team, and Bajrang Punia (wrestling) won bronze medals. Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting) and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (wrestling) won silver medals.
Topper in qualifiers:
Neeraj Chopra became India’s second-ever individual Olympic gold medalist. Abhinav Bindra bagged the country’s first individual gold at the Beijing Games in 2008. Chopra stormed into the finals with a fine throw of 86.65 m. He built a lot of buzz during the qualifications topping the charts. Chopra was considered a medal favourite heading into the finals.
A medal at stake:
Neeraj Chopra started the finals with a bang. His first attempt clocking 87.03 m easily outclassed his qualification best. Chopra was holding the pole position ever since. All other throwers were not even able to touch the 86 m mark forget crossing 87 m. Chopra went one better in his second attempt throwing 87.59 m. His roar was one of that of a champion. He knew he had done something historic.
Historic gold medal for Neeraj Chopra and India:
Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold won the hearts of a billion Indians. He joined an elusive club of Indian sportsmen to have won a gold medal. His feat summed up India’s fine showing at the Tokyo Olympics. His 2nd best throw of 87.03 m was the 2nd best throw clocked in the competition. Chopra was all class at the biggest stage. He exemplified excellence!
How was India’s gold medalist feeling?
Neeraj was quoted saying, “I did feel like I’d do something unique. I felt good today. I topped qualification and felt very good after that. I got it in the first throw itself, and it was a relaxed one. After that, I had a good feeling. The two days I got after that, I felt good in training also. I thought I’d get my personal best (PB) today. In the second throw, I thought I got my PB but I don’t know what happened there. No worries. I have this (gold medal) with me. That’s more important.”
He went on to add that, “I am happy. Abhinav [Bindra] won it for India. I did it for the country too. The Olympic gold was the priority. I can break the national record later also by working hard. After the second throw, I thought I’d get my personal best. The Olympic record is 90.57m, and it did cross my mind [targeting] it. I think I tried to overdo it because of that. I think with the speed and stuff. My last throw was a little more stable, but the ones in between those were not great.”