Tokyo: Neeraj Chopra wrote history on Saturday as the athlete went on to win first Gold medal in this Olympic with his stunning performance in men’s Javelin throw and became only the second Indian to win an individual gold in the Olympics, out-performing the field by quite a distance to notch up the first track-and-field Games medal for the country.
The 23-year-old farmer’s son from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana produced the second throw of 87.58m in the finals to finish ahead of Czech Republic duo of Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely to clinch the gold medal. He stunned the athletics world and end India’s 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics.
Chopra started off with a throw of 87.03, taking the lead after the first round of throws itself. If that was a good start, he went even better with his second throw of 87.58.
His third throw was 76.79.
In a major upset, Germany’s Johannes Vetter – who was favourite to win gold – was knocked out of contention after he failed to be in the top 8 after three throws.
Chopra’s fourth and fifth attempts were foul throws, but he continued to top the leaderboard.
His last throw was a formality, and he recorded 84.24 with the attempt.
Czech javelin thrower Vadlejch had the second best throw of 86.67, while his compatriot Vesely clinched bronze with his attempt of 85.44m.
Chopra won the country’s seventh medal and first gold in this Olympics and joined shooter Abhinav Bindra (2008 Beijing Games) as India’s individual gold winners in the showpiece. With this, the country surpassed the previous best haul of six medals achieved in the 2012 London Games. Neeraj Chopra will be taking the flag for India at the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony.