Asian Games 2018: Neeraj Chopra becomes first Indian since Milkha Singh to win Commonwealth Games and Asiad gold in the same year
What's the Story?
The Indian contingent continued its fine run in athletics by adding four medals to their tally from the track and field events at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, on Monday.
Among these four medals it was India's flagbearer at the Asian Games, Neeraj Chopra, who clinched the country's second gold medal at the Games this year. By doing so, Chopra equalled the feat of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, as he became only the second Indian athlete to win gold at both the Asian and the Commonwealth Games in the same year.
In case you didn't know...
Neeraj Chopra has had a brilliant year so far, having won gold at the Commonwealth Games, and then following it up with another brilliant performance at the Doha Diamond League, where he broke his own National Record, hurling the javelin 87.43m.
The heart of the matter
Perhaps the one sportsperson you expect to do well is a country's flag-bearer. That's what Neeraj Chopra was this year when the youngster walked out in front of a packed Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Before the youngster took to the field for his event, however, his peers ensured that India gets a brilliant start in athletics.
Tejinderpal Singh Toor began the proceedings by winning the Gold medal in Men's Shot Put. The 23-year-old also broke the Games Record in the process. Several follow the athlete's achievement, by winning medals of their own.
Hima Das, another one of the young star, and Muhammed Anas won a Silver medal in Women's and Men's 400m, respectively. Dutee Chand did the same in Women's 100m. Dharun Ayysasamy (Men's 400m Hurdles) and Sudha Singh (Women's 3000m Steeplechase) also won the Silver medal in their events.
Finally, it was Chopra's turn to show what he is capable of.
The youngster set the early precedent, by launching his Javelin over 83.46m. The others merely followed him. His second throw let him down, however, as Neeraj committed a foul in the process. It was Chopra's third throw which ensured that the youngster brought back home, yet another gold medal.
The 88.06m mark was where the Javelin landed on the youngster's third attempt, ensuring a new National Record in the process.
With this, Chopra equalled Milkha Singh's feat of winning gold at both the Commonwealth and the Asian Games, a feat that the 'Flying Sikh' had achieved 60 years back in 1958 at the Cardiff Commonwealth Games and the Tokyo Asian Games.
The three remaining throws were a formality for Chopra, who cruised towards the Gold medal. In fact, such was the youngster's domination, that his worst throw turned out to be more than the Silver-medal winning one.
More than hope, there was an expectation from Chopra to bring home that Asiad Gold, a feat he achieved quite easily. The youngster's medal now means that the Indian athletics contingent has won eight medals. Hopefully, there will be much more to come in the days that remain.
Eight athletics medals already in the Asian Games! Is Indian athletics on the rise? let us know what you think in the comments below.