Neeraj Chopra’s javelin victory delivers India its first Olympic gold medal in track and field
“In athletics this is the first time we have held gold so it is a proud moment for me and my country,” Chopra, 23, told reporters.
“In the qualifying round I pitched really well so I knew I could do better in the final. I didn’t know it would be gold but I’m very happy,” he added.
His gold medal completes a remarkable journey for Chopra that began when he decided to lose weight.
“I come from a farming background,” Chopra explained. “I was overweight and wanted to do some physical training.
“Somehow I ended up in an academy and chose the javelin throw. The love affair started and now I’m here with this medal in front of you.”
Czechs Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely won silver and bronze respectively.
India won a total of seven medals at Tokyo 2020: one gold, two silver and four bronze.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, General Secretary of the Indian opposition party, Indian National Congress, congratulated Chopra on Twitter: “What an outstanding performance. History has been written. India is so proud of you.”