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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

News Highlights

  • Congratulatory messages poured in from different quarters for the gold medallist. 
  • 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.

Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 event held on Saturday.

Star javelin thrower Neeraj 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 a second-round throw of 87.58m in the finals to stun the athletics world and end India's 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics.

Congratulatory messages poured in from different quarters for the gold medallist. 

President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated Neeraj and extended his heartiest congratulations through his Tweet. He Tweeted: "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!"

Elated Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a congratulatory message to the first gold medallist from India in Tokyo Olympics 2020 event through his Tweet.

His Tweet read: "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"

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also congratulated Neeraj through his Tweet. His post read: "A golden throw! Congratulations #NeerajChopra on historic first-ever track & field #Gold medal for India in #Javelin throw at #Tokyo2020. The country is so proud of you. With this, you took India to its highest ever medal tally at the #Olympics. You will inspire generations."

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 medal achieved in the 2012 London Games.

Czech Republic throwers Jakub Vadlejch (86.67m) and Vitezslav Vesely (85.44m) took the silver and bronze respectively.

Chopra came into the final as a medal contender after topping the qualification round on Wednesday with a stunning first round throw of 86.59m.

But few would have thought he would bludgeon his way to gold in such a dominant fashion at the grandest of the stage.

Season leader and pre-tournament gold favourite Johannes Vetter of Germany, who had thrown the javelin to 90m plus distances seven times between April and June, was eliminated after the first three throws as he was placed ninth with a best effort of 82.52m.

Top eight after the first three throws get three more attempts while the remaining four in the 12-man final are eliminated.

With his fifth career best throw, Chopra has done something which the likes of late Milkha Singh and P T Usha could not do in 1960 and 1984 editions.

No Indian has won a medal in athletics since the country started taking part in the Games in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Three track and field athletes were part of the five-member team -- the other two being wrestlers -- in that Games.

The International Olympic Committee still credits Norman Pritchard's 200m and 200m hurdles silver medals in the 1900 Paris Olympics to India though various researches, including the records of then IAAF (now World Athletics), showed that he had competed for Great Britain.

In any case, Pritchard was not an Indian and the country's first Olympic participation under a national Olympic body was in 1920.

Since then, track and field athletes have been an integral part of Indian contingents in almost all the editions of the Games.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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