JAKARTA: Neeraj Chopra outclassed his rivals by a wide margin to clinch the gold in the Men's Javelin Throw event at the 2018 Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang in Indonesia. He dedicated his medal to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died on August 16.
The 20-year-old from Haryana's Khandra scored a top throw of 88.06 meters. Chopra's competitors were far behind, with China's Qizhen Liu (82.22 meters) taking silver and Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem (80.75 meters) clinching the bronze.
Chopra's 88.06-meter throw is not only a new national record, but also surpassed his previous best of 87.43 meters. His top throw came on his third attempt, after scoring 83.46 on the first try, and 82.25 meters and 86.26 meters in the fourth and fifth attempts. His second and sixth throws were ruled out. His top throw also fell a shade short of the Asian Games record 1.09 meters.
"The competition was good. I had trained well and was focused on getting a gold medal for the country," Chopra told news agency ANI after winning gold. "I dedicate my medal to Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, who was a great man," he added.
Chopra's gold was India eighth of the 2018 Asian Games, and the second in an athletics event. It took the total medal tally to 41 medals - 8 Gold, 13 Silver and 20 Bronze.
The other Indian in contention in the Men's Javelin event, 23-year-old Shivpal Singh completed only his first throw of 74.11 meters. A shoulder injury forced him to skip the next four throws, and he aborted his one remaining attempt during his run-up for the sixth shot.
The other gold medal for India in athletics events was won by Tajinderpal Singh Toor in the Men's Shot Put. Six Indians picked up silver medals in athletics - Muhammed Anas Yahiya (Men's 400m), Dharun Ayyasamy (Men's 400m Hurdles), Dutee Chand (Women's 100m), Hima Das (Women's 400m), Sudha Singh (Women's 3000m Steeplechase) and Neena Varakil (Women's Long Jump).