CWG 2018: Neeraj Chopra Becomes First Indian to Bag Javelin Gold
Twenty-year-old Haryana native Neeraj Chopra has bagged India’s first athletics gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
One of India’s big medal favourites in athletics ahead of the Games, Chopra threw a season best distance of 86.47 to book himself a spot on top of the podium. The second-best throw was by Australia’s Hamish Peacock who was almost an entire four meters further behind.
Grenada’s Anderson Peters won the bronze with a throw of 82.20
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.Neeraj Chopra to PTI
Chopra's medal is only the fourth individual gold for India in athletics at the Commonwealth Games after Milkha Singh (1958), discus thrower Krishna Poonia (2010) and shot-putter Vikas Gowda (2014) finished on top of the podium for India.
As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well-prepared. 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.Neeraj Chopra
Chopra holds the junior world record in javelin throw as he marked a distance of 86.48m at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships. He’s also the second Indian to win a medal in javelin throw at the CWG after Kashinath Naik bagged a bronze in Delhi 2010.
In the CWG final on Saturday, 14 April, Chopra’s first throw of 85.50m pushed him to the gold-medal position but he managed to better it with his third effort, taking it up to 86.47m. However, each of four successful throws (85.50m, 84.78m, 86.47m, 83.48m) were good enough to have bagged him a gold.
The field in the men’s javelin final at Gold Coast was depleted after Olympics and world silver medallist Julius Yego of Kenya failed to qualify for final round, while 2012 Olympic champion and Rio Games bronze winner Keshorn Walcott opted out of the Games.