CWG 2018: Neeraj Chopra wins javelin gold with season-best throw
NEW DELHI: India added the 21st gold medal in their Commonwealth Games 2018 kitty with Neeraj Chopra registering a season best effort of 86.47 meters in men's javelin. With that, Chopra not only joined an elite list of Indian athletes to win a gold medal on their CWG debut, but also became the first Indian to triumph in Javelin Throw at CWG.
Chopra's first throw resulted in him hitting a mark of 85.50 meters that catapulted him to gold medal position. Despite faltering in his second attempt and hitting a mark of 84.78 in his third, Chopra bettered his own score with a winning effort of 86.47 meters in his fourth. The other Indian in the fray, Vipin Kashana, finished fifth with a best of 77.87.
The next best effort after Chopra's was that of Australia Hamish Peacock who took silver, followed by Grenada's Anderson Peters 82.20 assuring him of a bronze.
Chopra's showing in the last one year has escalated the youngster to the same platform, if not above, as country's elite athletes. High praise seems to have become synonymous with the 20-year-old. Former India athlete and World Championships bronze medallist Anju Bobby George termed him the most promising young Indian athlete today, while his former coach Garry Calvert termed him a “once-in-a-generation-talent". And truth be told, it is hard to argue against either of those statements.
In March, Chopra had qualified for the CWG after hurling a spear to a distance of 85.94m in his sixth attempt at the Federations Cup senior national athletics Championships in Patiala. Chopra had previously met the qualifying standard during the Indian GP, but the Athletics Federation of India had made it mandatory for athletes to match their performances at the Federation Cup.
Chopra's 85.63m effort in Patiala was his best of the season. He won the Asian Championships gold in Bhubaneswar and took part in three Diamond League series events, finishing fifth in one of them. But he disappointed at the London World Championships, failing to make it to the final round after a best effort of 82.26m.
Chopra was in Offenberg until the first week of February and bagged silver at a competition where he hit 82.80m to finish second behind world champion Johannes Vetter of