Neeraj Chopra won GOLD in the men’s javelin throw at the Olympic Games. He has now become the first Indian athlete to strike gold in Olympics. He had qualified for the finals with a remarkable throw of 86.65m on his first attempt on Wednesday, which put him in first place in the qualification round. He set a new personal best of 87.58m in the finals (in the second of six attempts).
Chopra topped the list with a throw of 87.03 metres, followed by Weber Julian (85.30 metres) of Germany, Vadlejch Jakub (83.98) of Czech Republic, Vetter Johannes (82.52 metres) of Germany and Katkavets Aliaksei (82.49) of Belarus.
Chopra improved his first-round score to 87.58m in the second round, the highest in the finals. In the third round, though, he finished at 76.79 metres. Vetter Johannes, the gold medal favourite and 2017 world champion, was eliminated after the third round, with a final best of 82.52m. With this, India has earned its first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Chopra kept India’s hopes alive by qualifying for the finals with his first attempt, sending the spear well above the qualifying mark of 83.50m.
He only needed a few seconds to qualify for the last round at his debut Olympics. He won the Group A competition as well as both qualifying rounds.
Earlier, the 23-year-old athlete stated that this was his first Olympic Games and he felt very good. ‘In the warm-up, my performance wasn’t so good, but then (in the qualifying round) my first throw had a good angle and was a perfect throw,’ he added.
Chopra had said before the finals that it would be a different experience as it was his maiden Olympic contest. ‘Physically we train hard and are ready, but I also need to prepare mentally. I will need to focus on the throw and try to repeat this (performance) with a higher score,’ he said.