Indian Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra creates history as he wins India's first gold medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, 2020. With the massive 87.58-metre throw, he has made the dream of 1.3 billion Indians of hearing our National Anthem at the Olympic podium come alive. The silver and the bronze medals were won by two Czechs, J. Vadlejch and V. Veselý.
Neeraj gained a lead over the competitors with his first throw of 87.02 metres. In his second attempt, he solidified his top spot by an even better throw. Although he could not better his record with his remaining throws, the 87.58-meter-long throw was enough to clinch gold for the Indian.
Shinned Through the Qualifiers
The 23-year-old became the first Indian to top the qualifying round in the Javelin throw event with a monstrous throw of 86.65 metres. He outthrew the world leader Jonathan Vetter by 1.01 meters in that round. He achieved the feat with only his first throw, whereas it took Vetter three throws to make it into the finals. With his terrific performance in the qualifying round, he had risen the hopes of an Olympic medal that had eluded Indian Athletics for over a century.
A Born Winner
Neeraj's Olympic heroics has brought him into the spotlight. But this is not the first time he is making India proud on an international stage. His breakthrough happened in the year 2016 during the World Championship in Poland. Then, an 18-year-old Neeraj won India's first Gold in the Javelin throw with a colossal throw of 86.48 metres.
His brilliant performance at the World Championship was only a glimpse of things to come. Neeraj went on to win the gold at Asian Athletic Championship in 2017. He followed this feat with another gold in Commonwealth games 2018 held in Australia.
He, then, bettered his record in the Asian Games in Baku the same year and won the gold medal again. These performances saw Neeraj become the first Indian to win Gold at Commonwealth and Asian Games in the Javelin throw. Recognising his outstanding performances, he was awarded the Arjuna Award by President Kovind.
With his performance, Neeraj has immortalised his name in the history of Indian sports. His gold medal is only the second gold India has won in Individual events in Olympic history.