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Neeraj Chopra claimed a historic gold in the men’s javelin throw final to become only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to top the podium at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. 

Neeraj won the gold medal with an effort of 87.58 while Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch managed 86.67 in his fifth attempt to take the silver. Vadlejch’s countryman Vitezslav Vesely settled for the bronze with an attempt of 85.44. 

Neeraj threw 87.03m in his first attempt only to better it in the second with 87.58m, his gold-winning throw. 

Neeraj had two fouls in his fourth and fifth attempts. Having already won the gold, Neeraj registered 84.24 in his final throw. 

Germany’s Johannes Vetter, 2017 World Championships gold medallist, managed only 82.52 followed by two back-to-back fouls. Vetter’s effort was not enough to take him forward. Interestingly, Vetter had breached the 90-meter mark seven times this year alone.  

All finalists get three attempts and only the top eight stay on to complete the quota of six opportunities.

Neeraj had thrown 86.65m to end on top of qualifying. Neeraj is the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, world junior champion and now an Olympic champion.  

Shooter Abhinav Bindra won independent India’s first individual Olympic gold in Beijing 2008. Neeraj’s gold is just India’s second track-and-field Olympics medal in 100 years. Norman Pritchard won two silvers at the 1900 Paris Olympics.

Featured photo: World Athletics

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