Commonwealth Games: Farmer's son Chopra reaps historic javelin gold for India

Aubrey Yates
April 15, 2018

Gold Coast: India's Neeraj Chopra won the men's Javelin title at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Australia's Gold Coast on Saturday. Neeraj Chopra registered his season's best performance of 86.47-meters in the final.

Chopra then threw his season's best - previously at 85.94m - of 86.47m in his fourth attempt, the throw falling 0.01m short of his personal best of 86.48m.

Creating history seems to have become a routine affair for Neeraj Chopra.

The player gave a ideal shot in the very first throw achieving the qualifying mark.

The CWG field had been depleted after 2016 Olympics silver-medallist Julius Yego of Kenya failed to qualify for final round, while 2012 Olympics champion and Rio Games bronze-winner Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad opted out of the Gold Coast Games.

"I've tried to enjoy myself here and not focus on any negatives, like "I don't like this and I don't like that". In August a year ago, he won a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar with a mark of 85.23m - the best-ever throw recorded in Indian soil.

"I've been totally relaxed here, I've enjoyed myself", said Chopra, flashing the smile that had a sun-soaked Gold Coast crowd eating out of his hand.

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In his first attempt, Chopra set a benchmark for the rest to follow, as he threw the javelin to a distance of 85.50 metres, pulling clear of the field at the very onset. He consistently crossed the 82m mark in the final, fouling two attempts in all. "You definitely get distracted by that".

"I tried to be natural because I was completely confident in how I've prepared myself".

"One shouldn't be too serious in life, it's good to be disciplined but you should not overdo food restrictions", he added, waxing lyrical on a host of subjects.

His compatriot Vipin Kashana finished fifth with a best effort of 77.87m.

The men did not finish as Amoj Jacob, running the second leg, was injured and was unable to finish his leg and pass the baton.

However, there was heartbreak for 2014 Glasgow bronze medallist triple jumper Arpinder Singh who missed the podium this time, finishing an agonising fourth.

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