Neeraj Chopra wins historic gold with season-best throw


Neeraj Chopra wins historic gold with season-best throw

Neeraj Chopra became India's first javelin champion at the Commonwealth Games and joined the country's small band of athletics gold medallists with a mighty throw of 86.47m yesterday.

This was India's first gold medal in javelin throw at Commonwealth Games, but fourth track and field gold after Milkha Singh, Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda.

"I've tried to enjoy myself here and not focus on any negatives".

Interestingly, Neeraj's worst throw was at 83.48m which was still higher than the best shot of silver medal victor Hamish Peacock from Australia, i.e. 82.59m. In August a year ago, he won a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar with a mark of 85.23m - the best-ever throw recorded in Indian soil.

As competition continued, India had 21 gold medals to lie third on the overall table, behind hosts Australia and England.

Neeraj assured his qualification in the Saturday finale with a throw of 80.42m in his very first attempt which put him in the second position in his group.

"One shouldn't be too serious in life, it's good to be disciplined but you should not overdo food restrictions. As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well-prepared", he said. The Jamaican team won the relay with a time of 3:24.00.

His compatriot Vipin Kashana finished fifth with a best effort of 77.87m.

Though he was well outside the medal bracket, Jinson Johnson should be a happy man, that his fifth place in the men's 1500m helped him obliterate the long-standing National record in the name of Bahadur Prasad since the 1995 SAF Games in Chennai. Arpinder's best effort was a 16.46m jump. Yordanys Garcia (16.86m) will take the silver medal to Dominica while Marcel Mayack took the bronze medal for Cameroon with a personal best mark of 16.80m.

Indian track and field athletes thus ended their Gold Coast CWG campaign with 1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze, the same number and colour of medals as in the last Games in Glasgow in 2014.