'It's unbelievable': Neeraj Chopra reacts after historic gold at Tokyo Olympics
- Tokyo Olympics: "It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good. We have just one gold here in other sports," Neeraj Chopra said after winning the historic gold.
Reacting for the first time after winning a historic gold medal in men's javelin throw event at the Tokyo Olympics, India's Neeraj Chopra said 'it feels unbelievable.' Chopra's gold medal on Saturday was special in more ways than one. It was India's first medal in track and field events in more than 120 years and their second gold in individual events at the Games after shooter Abhinav Bindra.
"It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good. We have just one gold here in other sports," the 23-year-old said after winning the historic gold.
Neeraj's gold took India's medal tally to 7, making Tokyo 2020 their most successful Olympics. India had won 6 medals at the London Olympics 2012.
"This is our first Olympic medal for a very long time, and in athletics it is the first time we have gold, so it's a proud moment for me and my country," Neeraj said.
Asked if he was surprised to win gold which also featured German great Johannes Vetter, he said, "In the qualification round I threw very well so I knew I could do better in the final."
"(But) I didn't know it would be gold but I am very happy."
Few would have thought that Chopra would bludgeon his way to gold in such a dominant fashion at the grandest of the stage.
Just like in the qualification round, Chopra began with a bang by sending the spear to a distance of 87.03m and then improved it to 87.58m, his best of the day which none in the field could match.
His third throw was a poor 76.76m, he then fouled his next two attempts before a final effort of 84.24m.
By the time the Nordic javelin left his right hand in his second attempt, he knew that it was going the farthest among all and he raised both his arms in jubilation, confident that the job had been done.
Season leader and pre-tournament gold favourite Johannes Vetter of Germany, who had thrown the spear to 90m plus distances seven times between April and June, was shockingly eliminated after the first three throws as he was placed ninth with a best effort of 82.52m.
(With PTI inputs)