Neeraj wins first javelin throw gold in Asian Games

Chopra is the first Indian to win an Asian Games gold in javelin.

Chopra, the world junior record holder (86.48m), has been in tremendous form this season, and has consistently crossed the 85m mark.   -  afp

Neeraj Chopra won a historic javelin Asian Games gold medal on Monday, improving his own national record by achieving a distance of 88.06m.

Chopra is the first Indian to win an Asian Games gold in javelin. Gurtej Singh had won bronze in 1982 in New Delhi.

The 20-year-old’s winning throw came in his third attempt. He began with 83.46m and fouled the second attempt.

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Liu Qizhen of China was a distant second with a best throw of 82.22m while Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem won the bronze with an 80.75 effort.

Neeraj, the Commonwealth Games and reigning Asian champion, completely dominated the competition, bettering his own national record of 87.43, which he had achieved in Doha during the first leg of the Diamond League series in May.

None of the competitors in the field had an 85-plus throw this season.

Chopra’s biggest rival was expected to be Chao Tsun Cheng, who last year recorded a throw of 91.36m but the Chinese Taipei thrower could manage a best of 79.81 to finish fifth.

Chopra, the world junior record holder (86.48m), has been in tremendous form this season, and has consistently crossed the 85m mark.

He won the Federation Cup in March with 85.94m, clinched a gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with a throw of 86.47m, before the 87.43 effort in Doha.

Before coming here, he had 85.17 and 85.69 in France and Finland during his preparations for the Asian Games.