Unbelievable,” was how Neeraj Chopra described his victory within the men’s javelin on Saturday as he became the primary Indian athlete to win an Olympic trophy in track and field. Chopra’s throw of 87.58m secured the highest spot on stage, as India also won its first trophy at Tokyo 2020. “In athletics, it’s the primary time we’ve gold, so it is a proud moment on behalf of me and my country,” the 23-year-old Chopra told reporters. “In the qualification round, I threw alright so I knew I could do better within the final. I didn’t realize it would be gold but I’m very happy,” he added.
His trophy success completes an interesting journey for Chopra that began when he decided to lose some weight.
“I come from a farming background,” explained Chopra. “I was overweight and wanted to try to do some fitness training. “Somehow I ended up in an academy and picked up javelin throw. The romance started and now I’m here with this medal standing ahead of you.” The Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely won silver and bronze respectively. India has now taken home seven medals in total at Tokyo 2020 — one gold, two silver, and 4 bronze. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, general secretary of India’s opposition Indian National Congress party, congratulated Chopra on Twitter: “What an impressive performance. History has been made. India is so pleased with you.”