Image Credits: @jojo_javelin - Twitter/PTI
Neeraj Chopra on Saturday scripted history at the Tokyo Olympics as he won India's first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and ended the nation's 100 years long wait of winning a medal in athletics at the Games. On his way to glory, Neeraj Chopra surpassed Johannes Vetter who has the second-longest javelin throw in the history of the sport.
Vetter, who was favourite to win the gold in the men’s javelin throw event, had produced the second-longest javelin throw in the history of the sport, throwing a remarkable 97.76m during the Tour Gold event in Poland on September 6, 2020. The 97.76m throw was his best ever tally and the second-best in the history of the sport, just behind three-time Olympic champion Jan Zelezny's 1996 world record of 98.48m. Vetter is the only man in the world to have thrown beyond 90 metres in the past 24 months. He actually has thrown that far or farther 18 times and that includes a record streak of seven competitions between April and June of this year.
However, Vetter was unable to repeat his remarkable talent as he threw a maximum of just 82.52m and finished ninth overall. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, finished second and Vitezslav Vesely, won bronze, with throws of 86.67m and 85.44m respectively.
The Johannes Vetter javelin throw is a new German record, breaking his own best of 94.44m in 2017. While the 27-year-old threw 97.76m in his third attempt, he followed it up with another epic 94.84m in his very next attempt, the fifth farthest in the history of the sport.
Chopra brought in his top form from the first round itself. In the first round, Neeraj Chopra broke his qualification record and his throw was 87.03 m, the second throw was 87.58m, and the third throw was 76.79m. Neeraj Chopra's second throw moved him to the second round. In the second round, the first two throws of Chopra were foul throws and the final one was around 84 m.
Along with winning India first Gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, he also became the first athlete to win the gold medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics and became the second-ever individual athlete to win a gold medal for India at the mega-event. Shooter Abhinav Bindra was the first individual who won a gold medal for India. Bindra had won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.