Nothing is impossible for Neeraj Chopra, and the star javelin thrower proved this yet again on Saturday when he became the first Indian track and field athlete to bag a medal at the Olympics. He achieved the feat in the most dominating manner and secured the gold medal in the finals of the men’s javelin throw at Tokyo Olympics. 

Such was his performance that he kicked-off the final with a monstrous effort of 87.03m, a mark that none of the twelve participating members could match up to in all the six throws. Neeraj then aced up his performance in the second attempt, throwing the spear upto 87.58m, a mark that eventually proved enough to hand India its first gold in Tokyo. 

The 23-year-old ‘Spear Man’ from Haryana’s Khandra, a village close to Panipat, had earlier topped the qualifying round with an 86.65m throw, 1.01m ahead of the second place and world leader Johannes Vetter, who on Saturday was knocked out of the contention after the first three attempt. 

Neeraj’s effort in the qualifying round had then seen him become the first Indian javelin thrower to finish on top of the qualification round in the history of the Olympics.   

READ | ‘Milkha Singh’s dream has been fulfilled’: Neeraj Chopra dedicates Tokyo gold to sprint legend 

Since his introduction to the sport, Neeraj has always been a champion material, smashing records one at a time.   

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.  

Since then, there has been no 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 87.43m, a milestone achieved during the Qatar Diamond League. 

Commonwealth Games high 

As the stakes got higher, Neeraj has stood up to the task in almost all the events. In the Commonwealth Games held in Australia in 2018, the athlete went on to become the first Indian to bag a gold from his discipline at the quadrennial event.  

In Pics | Neeraj Chopra’s road to Olympic Gold 

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 penned in the history books, with a gigantic 88.06m throw, which stood as a national record before he rewrote it to 88.07m at the Indian Grand Prix held in Patiala in March this year.    . 

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.  

With this new historic feat on Saturday, the 23-year-old son of a farmer in Haryana, put an end to India’s over 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics, an achievment which he later dedicated to India’s sports icon Milkha Singh.    

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