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CWG 2018: Dominant Neeraj at his best

Neeraj was favourite for gold after his 85.94m throw last month at Patiala during the Federation Cup National Championships.  

It was his stage, and, Neeraj Chopra turned the key performer, his monster opener of 85.50m killing the rest of the field at one go.

The 20-year-old World junior record holder thereafter touched a season’s best of 86.47m and became India’s fourth individual gold winner in Commonwealth Games history in track and field.

It was India’s first gold in the athletics events of the current Games. Milkha Singh (440 yards, Cardiff, 1958) was the first athlete to win gold for India. After a long wait Krishna Poonia (discus, New Delhi, 2010) and Vikas Gowda (discus, Glasgow 2014) came up with golds.

 

The only other gold for India was won by the women’s 4x400m relay team in New Delhi, 2010.

Neeraj was favourite to win, though the Australians believed Hamish Peacock would go all the way.

Neeraj kicked off in style with 85.50m and went on nonchalantly to script out a terrific series, that, however, included two fouls — on the second and third attempts.

 

It was in round four that he touched the day’s best distance of 86.47m. Neeraj’s other valid throws read 84.78 and 83.48.

Peacock’s best of the day was 82.59m, while that of bronze medallist Grenada’s Anderson Peters was 82.20m.

Vikas Kashana, the other Indian in the fray, finished fifth with a best of 77.87m. Naturally, the young man was ecstatic: “I would like to thank all those who helped me. The crowd was also very encouraging, which is a must for javelin throwers.”

Arpinder Singh’s dreams of a second bronze was dashed by Marcel Mayak of Cameroon, who came up with a personal best of 16.80m in the triple jump.

The Indian touched 16.46m in the fourth round. Troy Doris of Guyana took gold (16.88m) and Gracia Yordonys of Dominica the silver (16.86).

Though he was well outside the medal bracket, Jinson Johnson should be a happy man, that his fifth place in the men’s 1500m helped him obliterate the long-standing National record in the name of Bahadur Prasad since the 1995 SAF Games in Chennai.

The Kerala athlete was timed at 3:37.86s against Prasad’s 3:38.00s.

The day also marked the first ever Games medal, that too gold, for Saint Lucia as Leven Spencer sailed to 1.95m to take the women’s high jump.

The other highlights of the day was the continuing dominance of Kenya in the long distance (5000m women) and the surprise double landed by England in the 400m relay.

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Printable version | Nov 19, 2020 11:59:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/cwg-2018-neeraj-chopra-becomes-first-indian-to-win-gold-in-javelin-throw/article23536048.ece

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