Tokyo: It was a historic moment for India on Saturday, as Neeraj Chopra became only the second individual Indian athlete after Abhinav Bindra to be crowned Olympic champion as he won gold in the men’s javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics. The gold medal is also India’s first Olympic medal in track-and-field events.
Neeraj Chopra threw a best attempt of 87.58m to win the Olympic gold. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch won silver and fellow Czech Vitezslav Vesely won bronze to complete the podium.
Neeraj 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, he had done more than enough to get three additional attempts.
In the javelin throw, the top-eight after three attempts each get an additional three throws to make their best attempt.
Meanwhile, German world No. 1 and world champion Johannes Vetter only finished ninth and did not get his three additional throws. It was the biggest surprise of the event.
Neeraj Chopra’s fourth and fifth attempts were foul throws and he finished with 84.24m.
Neeraj Chopra’s historic feat ensured that India ended the Tokyo Olympics on a golden note. The men’s javelin was the last event for the Indian contingent at the Summer Games.
The gold medal win by Neeraj took India’s medal count at Tokyo 2020 to seven - their best-ever haul at a single Olympics.
Talking to media after the win, Neeraj said, "I had no pressure before the Olympics. It was like I have played against these athletes before and there's no reason to worry. I just focused on my performance. That has helped me win gold. For all the facilities I thank SAI, Federation, and TOPS."
He said that the first throw went well and that eased off the pressure, "If the first throw goes well, then it releases the pressure. That happened. The first throw went well and the second throw also was very good. Then I was targetting the Olympic record, and I gave my best. As I said before, it is a very technical event. Therefore, in spite of using my full power and pace, I could not better that. My next target is to breach the 90m."Here is how people congratulated Neeraj on his historic win:
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!— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 7, 2021
History has been scripted at Tokyo! What @Neeraj_chopra1 has achieved today will be remembered forever. The young Neeraj has done exceptionally well. He played with remarkable passion and showed unparalleled grit. Congratulations to him for winning the Gold. #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/2NcGgJvfMS— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2021
NEERAJ 🥇 CHOPRA— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) August 7, 2021
India’s 🇮🇳 Golden Boy !
India’s Olympic History has been scripted!
Your superbly soaring throw
deserves a Billion Cheers !
Your name will be etched in the history books with golden letters.#Tokyo2020 @Neeraj_chopra1 pic.twitter.com/Xe6OYlCedq
नीरज ने जैवेलिन को पहुंचाया सूरज तक!— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 7, 2021
India shines brighter today because of you, Neeraj.
Your javelin carried the tricolour 🇮🇳 all the way and made it flutter with the pride of every Indian.
What a moment for Indian sport!#Olympics #Tokyo2020 #Athletics #Gold pic.twitter.com/FZ52Ti6EZc
And Gold it is for @Neeraj_chopra1 .Take a bow, young man ! You have fulfilled a nation's dream. Thank you!— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 7, 2021
Also, welcome to the club - a much needed addition! Extremely proud. I am so delighted for you.