Tokyo Games: Neeraj Chopra poses with his gold medal in the podium on Saturday.© AFP
Neeraj Chopra created history on Saturday when he won the men’s javelin throw title at the Tokyo Olympics to become the first Indian in the history of the Games to win a gold medal in athletics. Only the second Indian to win an individual Olympic medal, Neeraj Chopra emerged victorious in Saturday’s final after a throw of 87.58m to top the standings. After starting off with a throw of 87.03m, which turned out to be the second-best throw of the evening, Chopra made his gold-winning throw with his next attempt.
Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely, both from Czech Republic, took home the silver and bronze, respectively. Germany’s Johannes Vetter, who was dubbed the favourite for the gold medal alongside Chopra, surprisingly came up short in the final and failed to qualify for the last three throws.
Chopra‘s gold medal meant India’s national anthem played at a medal ceremony for the first time since Abhinav Bindra shooting gold at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Here is the moment when Chopra received his gold medal during the ceremony on Saturday.
What a moment. What a champion.
— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) August 7, 2021
The 23-year-old Chopra had earlier qualified for the final on Wednesday with a throw of 86.65m. He had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.86m in Potchefstroom, South Africa in 2020.
Prior to that event, he had spent over a year on the sidelines owing to an elbow injury which required him to undergo a surgery.
Winner of the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018, Chopra had missed out on the 2019 World Championships in Doha due to his injury troubles.
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