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Commonwealth Games javelin champ Neeraj Chopra upset after missing personal best in final

In a depleted field in the final round of javelin at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG 2018) in Gold Coast, it is easy to lose focus and get overconfident – lack of competition making a person complacent. Chopra did not allow any such thing as he scripted history by winning the gold medal.

other sports Updated: Apr 14, 2018 21:07 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Hindustan Times, Gold Coast
2918 Commonwealth Games,CWG 2018,Neeraj Chopra
India's Neeraj Chopra competes in the athletics men's javelin throw final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Saturday.(AFP)

Neeraj Chopra was competing against himself in the javelin throw competition at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Saturday. (CWG live updates)

In a depleted field, it is easy to lose focus and get overconfident – lack of competition making a person complacent. Chopra did not allow any such thing as he scripted history by winning the gold medal.

It was only the fifth gold medal India has won in track and field at the Commonwealth Games. Chopra joined a special list that includes Milkha Singh (1958), Krishna Poonia (2010), the women’s 4x400m relay team (2010) and Vikas Gowda (2014). This was only the second medal in javelin that India have won at the Commonwealth Games after Kashinath Naik, who claimed bronze in New Delhi 2010.

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Though the former junior world champion and Asian title winner was happy after achieving the feat, the 20-year-old was not satisfied with his performance. He missed recording a personal best by just one centimetre and that kept cropping up in his mind.

He managed to win the gold comfortably, with a throw of 86.47m, which was his season’s best. But in his eagerness to achieve his personal best, the youngster from Haryana made a mistake.

Neeraj was the favourite to win the gold after Kenya’s Julius Yego, the Olympics and world silver medallist, failed to qualify for the final. After fouling on his biggest throw, the Kenyan could not achieve the qualification mark of 78.00 metres.

READ MORE | 2018 Commonwealth Games shooting: Sanjeev Rajput wins gold in men’s 50m rifle 3 positions

Neeraj on the other hand, made the qualifying mark in his first throw and similarly in the final, he nailed it with 85.50m on his first attempt as none of those in the fray came anywhere close to his mark. With his fourth throw, he reached 86.47. Australia’s Hamish Peacock finished second with 82.50 while Grenada’s Andersan Peters took bronze with 82.20m.

“It is a very important medal for me and I am happy to win it. But I wanted to touch my personal best and missed it by a centimetre. In my desperation to get that, I tried so hard that I tumbled over in my last two attempts. But I am very happy and I have lot of competitions this year to achieve the personal best,” Neeraj said after his triumph.

READ MORE | Commonwealth Games title in her kitty, MC Mary Kom craves Olympic gold

Neeraj was happy to achieve a big one on his first throw.

“It makes a lot of difference when you manage to get a first throw like that. It builds pressure on others. As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well prepared,” he said.

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.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 19:55 IST