Neeraj Chopra Wins India’s First-Ever Javelin Throw Gold at Asiad
Neeraj Chopra has created history, becoming the first-ever Indian to win a gold in javelin throw at the Asian Games. To top it off, he managed the feat with his best-ever throw.
In fact, the best four throws of the 2018 Asian Games javelin event were all recorded by the 20-year-old Haryana native.
While even his first throw of 83.46m was eventually good enough to get him the gold, Neeraj bettered it by a whole five meters, throwing a distance of 88.06m – his personal best.
Qizhen Liu of China won the silver with 82.22m and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem’s 80.75m got him the bronze.
Coming into the final, Neeraj had a personal best throw of 87.43m from May this year and his biggest competitor for the gold was expected to be Chinese Taipei's Cheng Chao Tsun, whose best throw was a massive 91.36m from 2017.
However, the final ended up becoming a Neeraj vs Neeraj contest as all his four regulation rows were better than the rest of the field.
Taipei's Cheng Chao Tsun could only manage 79.81m and finished fifth. The other Indian in the event, Shivpal Singh, injured himself on his first throw of 74.11m and did not compete in the rest of the event.
India’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Games, Neeraj is a gold medallist from the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, and broke into the scene only two years back when he created a new junior world record (86.48) during the Under-20 World Championships.
He won the Federation Cup in March with 85.94m, clinched a gold in the Gold Coast with a throw of 86.47m, before the 87.43 effort in Doha. Before reaching Indonesia, he had 85.17m and 85.69m in France and Finland during his preparations for the Asian Games.
Before Neeraj, the only Indian to ever win a medal in javelin at the Asian Games was Gurtej Singh who won a bronze in the 1982 edition in New Delhi.