Junior World Record Holder, Neeraj Chopra creates history by winning gold medal in the Javelin throw event at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday after a best throw of 86.47m.
With this win, he became the first Indian to win a medal in the event. It also made him the third Indian man and fourth overall to clinch an individual athletics gold medal, after Milkha Singh in 1958, Krishna Poonia in 2010 and Vikas Gowda in 2014.
In a high quality display, his lowest throw came at 83.48m — more than the best throw of Australia’s Hamish Peacock, who claimed the silver with 82.59m.
Chopra, 20, led from the front after a throw of 85.50m with his first attempt. His second throw was a foul, but that first throw kept him comfortably in the lead, ahead of Grenada’s Andreson Peters, who was in the silver medal position with a best throw of 82.20m after two attempts.
Chopra then threw his season’s best — previously at 85.94m — of 86.47m in his fourth attempt, the throw falling 0.01m short of his personal best of 86.48m.
Chopra, who held the best throw among javelin throwers from the Commonwealth participants this year, was seen as India’s best bet in the field events. He had become the first Indian athlete to become a world champion in a field event when he clinched gold at the IAAF World U-20 Championships in Bydogszcz, Poland in 2016 after a record throw of 84.69m. Chopra had set a new U-20 world record with the throw, surpassing the 84.69m of Latvian thrower Zigisimunds Sirmais.
Vipin Kashana, the other Indian in the fray, also showcased a good effort, with a best throw of 77.87m in six attempts to finish fifth.