Neeraj Chopra will aim to become India’s first Olympic medalist from athletics, when he hits the field in the finals of the men’s javelin throw at Tokyo Olympics on Saturday (August 7). The 23-year-old ‘Spear Man’ from Haryana’s Khandra, a village close to Panipat, topped the qualifying round with an 86.65m throw, 1.01m ahead of the second place and world leader Johannes Vetter.
Neeraj’s monstrous attempt in the qualifying round also saw him become the first Indian javelin thrower to finish on top of the qualification round in the history of the Olympics.
Neeraj’s best throw record at 88.07m, a distance the 23-year-old achieved earlier this year, which is also a national record. The 23-year-old at such a young age has been a champion material since his introduction in the sport, smashing records one at a time.
Time to share this iconic photo “Neeraj ‘s World of Javelin”
All the best Spear Man of #Ind
All prayers, wishes #India for our boy!
Tomorrow 4:30pm let’s send loudest cheers to Olympic Stadium in #Tokyo2020
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) August 6, 2021
Breakthrough in 2016
Neeraj’s breakthrough came in the year 2016 when he clinched India’s first-ever gold medal at the World Championship. Then 18-year-old Neeraj became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Championship held in Poland, with a gigantic attempt of 86.48m.
This day in 2016, @Neeraj_chopra1 entered the history books with a 86.48m gold-winning throw at the U 20 World Championships. He also improved the previous junior World record by almost two metres. pic: neeraj_chopra/Instagram pic.twitter.com/QFFVfNf53V
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) July 23, 2021
Since then, there has been looking back for the Indian and it took him just two years after the World Championship to become a national record holder in the men’s category with a throw measuring 87.43, a milestone achieved during the Qatar Diamond League.
Commonwealth Games high
As the stakes got higher, Neeraj stood up to the task in almost all the events. In the Commonwealth Games held in Australia in 2018, the athlete then went on to become the first Indian to bag a gold from his discipline at the quadrennial event.
While he threw 86.47m in Australia, the 23-year-old went on to better his performance at the Asian Games held in Jakarta in the same year.
In Jakarta, Neeraj once again got his name registered in the history books, with a gigantic 88.06m throw, thus rewriting his national record.
Like the Commonwealth, Neeraj repeated a similar feat in Jakarta, becoming the first Indian to bag a gold from his discipline at the Asian Games.
•Gold medal in Javelin Throw in Asian Games 2018
•Gold medal in Javelin Throw in CWG 2018
•Gold medal in Asian Athletic Championship 2017 pic.twitter.com/MsfWJeMUG0
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) September 25, 2018
On Saturday, Neeraj now stands at a chance of creating yet another history and becoming the first sportsperson from India to bag a medal from athletics in the Olympics.
Standing on his way will be Germany’s Vetter and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem (85.16m).
Meanwhile, Poland’s Marcin Krukowski (74.65m) and Trinidad and Tobago’s 2012 London Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott (79.33m), the duo who recorded over 89m this year and were on the second and third place in this year’s world list, couldn’t qualify for the final.
(THIS STORY HAS NOT BEEN EDITED BY INDIA07 TEAM AND IS AUTO-GENERATED FROM A SYNDICATED FEED.)