It had to be an Army man to create history as India won it’s first ever gold in Athletics! He proved that it could be done and it was in Tokyo!
-‘In 1908 it was Eric Lemming of Sweden who won the first ever gold medal in modern Olympics and he repeated the performance in 1912 at Stockholm Olympics but in the Tokyo games a new star was born and remember the name Neeraj Chopra the man from the Indian Army’!
-‘Many think that the mark of a great champion is the nature and margin of their victories and the peaks they scale and reach. That’s only part of it. The mark of the greatest of champions is how they react and respond to defeat. That is when they become enshrined in our hearts and minds as they rise again and into the immortal pages of history. Indian Women won the hearts of the world despite the loss but this champion emerged from nowhere to win the first gold in the Olympics at Tokyo games. This was by no means an easy achievement in the field events of the track and field arena. So here has risen a man to epic dimensions in the sport and he has to be a soldier first where competitiveness is in born! He would be an icon to be tracked by the budding athletes of the future’!
-‘ Neeraj came to Tokyo with plenty of class behind him. He had shown his class and pedigree in this sport. He is the first athlete representing India to have won gold in javelin throw at both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. He claimed victory at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, and the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. Neeraj became the first Indian competitor to win a junior world title in athletics when he claimed gold in javelin throw at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Poland. A Star is always a star no matter what stage they are on or at. He was at the top of the medals podium with the shining gold medal around his neck. We Indians are proud of the man of the hour! Javelin throw is one of the toughest with a lightweight spear in hand to be hurled to a distance. One who gets it the farthest wins it. This was against the best in the world but on this day the champion had to be only one. None other than Neeraj Chopra of the Fourth Rajputana Rifles. I’m sure the officers and the men must have had their eyeballs glued to the live coverage on the unit LCD’s as Neeraj came to throw the golden throw with his arms and as he released it with a big grunt he knew that it was the throw that mattered. His parents must have been the happiest as they recalled that as a kid most of the times Neeraj was seen in the stadium watching the sportsmen/women bouncing about and competing. Who knew at that time that this very kid will roar to the top and create history for India in track and field events. Never had such a thing happened before but it did because it had to happen’!
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Shooting), Milkha Singh (Athletics), Pan Singh Tomar (Athletics, Jitu Rai (Shooting), Vijay Kumar (Shooting), Ram Singh Yadav (Marathon), Ram became the second Indian athlete ever to be qualified for the marathon event of the Olympics. Shivnath Singh of Bihar was the first Indian athlete to participate in the Olympics marathon and a host of others who were simply outstanding and enhanced the legacy of the sports domination by services as the team is called but now arrives the superstar!
No Student can stand the gruel of sports training unless he/she has a passion for fame. Fame with the spirit of a sportsman/woman. Neeraj has shown the new way to glory for the budding athletes in the Nation.
I The man of the moment:
All I can say is, cometh the hour, cometh the man!
Neeraj managed a winning best of 87.58 metres to go one better than India’s previous best. He is a Junior Commissioned Officer with 4 Rajputana Rifles in the Indian Army. He is a graduate of DAV College in Chandigarh.
He is the son of a farmer from Haryana. The state government has announced it would honor the athlete with Rupees 6 crore. He brought laurels for the Indian Army. He performed like a true soldier at the Olympics. It is indeed a historic and proud moment for the entire country including the Indian Armed Forces! Many congratulations to him, said the Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
Neeraj came into the Olympics with the fourth best throw of the year and lived up to his form as a faltering Johannes Vetter of Germany struggled and failed to qualify as one of the top eight.
He took up the sport in 2011, inspired by watching people practice throwing javelin in Haryana, according to his bio on the Olympics official website. Perhaps he knew that he was born to hurl the spear to a distance and watch its parabolic flight as it hit the ground. He must have also studied the history of the sport in the Olympics right from the ancient times.
Incidentally Javelin throw, an athletics (track-and-field) sport of throwing a spear for distance, was included in the ancient Greek Olympic Games as one of five events of the pentathlon competition.
Javelin throwing involves a spear-like implement that is hurled with an over-the-shoulder motion at the end of an approach. After a short run, the javelin is thrown directly forward with an over-the-shoulder motion into a 29° sector marked on the field. It must land first with the spear head digging into the earth. The thrower’s body may not rotate a full turn (360°) before the javelin is released, and he may not step on or beyond a line at the end of the runway.
Scandinavian athletes dominated the first 50 years of men’s javelin competition. Sweden conducted the first national championship in the event in 1896, and Swedish and Finnish athletes held most world records until 1953. The javelin throw has been an Olympic event since 1908; a women’s javelin event was added to the Olympic program in 1932.
But now it was time for Neeraj to prove that he was no lesser than anyone. Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane and all ranks of the Indian Army congratulate Subedar Neeraj Chopra on winning the nation’s first ever gold medal in javelin in Olympics with a throw of 87.58 metres.
It is also the country’s second individual gold medal in its Olympic history after Abhinav Bindra’s heroics in Beijing 2008.
He put in a stunning performance to win India’s first Olympic gold medal in athletics. The 23-year-old registered a best attempt of 87.58m to finish ahead of Czech Republic duo Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely. It was India’s first gold medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics and also the country’s second individual gold medal in its Olympic history after Abhinav Bindra’s heroics in Beijing 2008. With his historic effort, he also took India’s medal haul to seven in the ongoing Games, the country’s highest ever, beating the tally of six medals won at the London Games in 2012.
Neeraj Chopra had come into the final as one of the favorites to win a medal after topping the charts in qualification.
Chopra started off with a throw of 87.03, taking the lead after the first round of throws itself. If that was a good start, he went even better with his second attempt, registering a throw of 87.58. His third throw was 76.79. His last throw was a formality with all his competitors having already finished their attempts, and he recorded 84.24 with the attempt.
History teaches us that the greatest sportsmen are those who work silently without hope of praise or reward. They just walk into the arena with an aim that ‘I have to just do it’. They walk in with an uncanny swagger to put in their best and win people’s hearts, and not to please a prize committee or win a medal. It’s the spirit of the sport that drives a sportsman of the caliber of Neeraj Chopra. Success for him was the leading innovation and he knew perhaps that he could be the leading man on the leaderboard be competition. And finally I would say that when healthy competition prevails – you come out to play and you play to win. That is what this man from 4 Raj Rif did!