Neeraj wins historic javelin throw gold at CWG, heartbreak in other events

16 April, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • India's Neeraj Chopra celebrates his gold medal in the Men's Javelin Throw during the Commonwealth Games. PTI

Premier Indian Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra on Saturday delivered his season best performance to clinch gold in the javelin throw event of the Commonwealth Games 2018 here. He becomes the only fifth player in athletics to win a gold medal at CWG after after Milkha Singh, Krishna Poonia, Women's 4x400 relay & Vikas Gowda.

Though the former junior world champion and Asian title victor was happy after achieving the feat, the 20-year-old was not satisfied with his performance.

For celebration, Neeraj had his friend Vinesh Phogat at the stands before the wrestler went to the adjacent Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre to win a gold medal.

After a throw of 85.50m with his first attempt, Chopra led from the front.

The CWG field had been depleted after 2016 Olympics silver-medallist Julius Yego of Kenya failed to qualify for final round, while 2012 Olympics champion and Rio Games bronze-winner Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad opted out of the Gold Coast Games. He then extended his lead to 86.47 in his fourth throw, which in fact turned out to be his seasonal best. "It was still quite tough but I was very sure of myself", Neeraj said. In August 2017, he won a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar with a sensational mark of 85.23m.

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"It makes a a lot of difference when you manage to get a first throw like that. As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well-prepared", he said. Vipin Kashana, the other Indian in the fray, also showcased a good effort, with the best throw of 77.87m in six attempts to finish fifth.

Charles Da'Vall Grice of England beat Johnson to the fourth position by a fraction of a second with a time of 3:37.43.

Arpinder Singh's dreams of a second bronze was dashed by Marcel Mayak of Cameroon, who came up with a personal best of 16.80m in the triple jump.

The only other gold for India was won by the women's 4x400m relay team in New Delhi, 2010.

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