Neeraj Chopra became India's first javelin champion at the Commonwealth Games and joined the country's small band of athletics gold medallists with a mighty throw of 86.47m on Saturday. He had become the first Indian athlete to become a world champion in a field event when he clinched gold at the IAAF World U-20 Championships in Bydogszcz, Poland in 2016 after a record throw of 84.69m.
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.
The field had been depleted after Olympics and world silver medallist Julius Yego of Kenya failed to qualify for final round, while 2012 Olympic champion and Rio Games bronze victor Keshorn Walcott opted out of the CWG. "It was still quite tough but I was very sure of myself", Neeraj said. He also became the fourth overall and third-ever Indian man and to grip an athletics medal after Milkha Singh in 1958, Krishna Poonia in 2010 and Vikas Gowda in 2014.
Neeraj, a gold-medallist at the Asian Championships a year ago, simply destroyed the competition with his very first attempt on Sunday that was 85.50m. "You definitely get distracted by that", added Chopra. "As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well-prepared", he said.
The other Indian competing in the event, Vipin Kashana, finished fifth with a best of 77.87.
Earlier in the day, we already say - Indian sprinter Jinson Johnson created a new national record after finishing the 1500 metre track race in 3:37:86 in the Commonwealth Games 2018 here. Yordanys Garcia (16.86m) will take the silver medal to Dominica while Marcel Mayack took the bronze medal for Cameroon with a personal best mark of 16.80m. The Jamaican team won the relay with a time of 3:24.00. Arpinder's best effort was a 16.46m jump. The latest to do so amongst a long line of Indian names was Indian track and field athlete - Neeraj Chopra.