Neeraj Chopra shattered season’s best record to become first Indian javelin thrower to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018, with a season’s best effort of 86.47m in the final at Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday. With the feat, he also became the fourth Indian ever to win an athletics gold medal at the CWG.
The 20-year old, a farmer’s son from Haryana’s Panipat, got a standing ovation from the crowd after his throw of 86.47 meters. The junior World champion achieved the qualifying mark in his very first throw to make it to the final and was the favourite for gold.
The champ @Neeraj_chopra1 signing autographs … @Phogat_Vinesh Pehlwan ji was sooo excited that she came all the way to get this picture clicked… she fights in 1 hr from now… #gold rush for India 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/fjdZlwirW3
— Tejaswin Shankar (@TejaswinShankar) 14 April 2018
Neeraj said that he was aiming for personal best record during the final. “It is a very important medal for me, I wanted to touch my personal best but I missed it by a centimetre. In my desperation for that, I tried so hard that I tumbled over in my last two attempts. But I am very happy and I have lot of competitions this year to achieve the personal best,” he said after the medal ceremony.
“It makes a lot of difference when you manage to get a first throw like that. It builds pressure on others. As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well-prepared,” he said.
The next best effort after Chopra’s was that of Australia Hamish Peacock who claimed silver, followed by Grenada’s Anderson Peters 82.20 assuring him of a bronze.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 14 April 2018
With the best throw of the season (86.47m) in javelin, #NeerajChopra (20) wins one more gold 🥇for India.
The count raised to 48 medals for #TeamIndia on medal tally @GC2018#KeepGoing 👍#RangDeTiranga 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/NoIBj6nb53
— Dept of Sports MYAS (@IndiaSports) 14 April 2018
On plans of celebrating CWG gold medal, Neeraj said, “One shouldn’t be too serious in life, it’s good to be disciplined but you should not overdo food restrictions. A bit of enjoyment always works. One should have faith that their training is good enough. It’s not healthy to just lock yourself in a room before a big competition,” he advised.
Chopra, who has learnt to master the game through youtube videos, had qualified for the CWG after hurling a spear to a distance of 85.94m in his sixth attempt at the Federations Cup senior national athletics Championships in Patiala.