NEERAJ CHOPRA, 23, won gold in Tokyo Olympics in Men’s javelin throw on Saturday, 07 August 2021 after medal hopeful golfer Aditi Ashok narrowly missed the podium and Wrestler Bajrang Punia bagged bronze. Haryana’s Panipat-born Chopra has scripted history by becoming Independent India’s first individual Athletic Gold medallist. He is the first Indian in over 120 years, and the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic medal in a track-and-field game. Neeraj qualified for the final of the event in his first attempt. Neeraj Chopra kicked off the proceedings with a gigantic 87.03m and then aced it up in the second attempt by reaching the 87.58m mark and defeated world number one Johannes Vetter. In the fifth and final attempt, Neeraj threw 84.24m. He won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where he set a then-new Indian national record of 88.06m. He was also a flag bearer at the opening ceremony in the games. Neeraj Chopra has broken his own record by throwing 88.07m at the Indian Grand Prix in 2021.
Earlier, former Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia, 27, also a native of Haryana, dominated the men’s 65kg bronze medal bout from start to finish ending in an 8-0 scoreline in his favour . He trounced Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan. Another Indian Bengaluru-born Aditi Ashok, 23, who plays on the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour, finished 4th after playing superbly in Tokyo Olympics against New Zealand’s Ko Lydia. The lanky golfer who made her Olympic debut in Rio De Janeiro in 2016, has taken Indian golfing to new heights with today’s historic performance. ‘’You have played with immense calm and poise. Congratulations for the impressive display of grit and skills’’, said President Ram Nath Kovind. “A truly superb performance by the 200 ranked Aditi Ashok who really deserved an Olympic medal. She should be proud of what she achieved, including making golf a talking point across India”, said Vikram Chandra, founder of EditorJI. Aditi Ashok has done an excellent job. She missed the medal but has shown her international standard & there’s a great future for her. Karnataka govt & the entire state stands with her. I wish her all the best for the future’’, said Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. Edited by PK Chakravarty.