New Delhi: Ace javelin-thrower Neeraj Chopra scripted history by becoming India’s first-ever gold medallist at the World Athletics Championships.
Neeraj pulled off a thriller against Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem in the early hours of Monday in Budapest, leaving Indian sports lovers gasping for breath after the ace javelin-thrower hit headlines in the men’s final. Both were separated by less than a metre in the nail-biter.
Nadeem also scripted history by finishing second and becoming the first medallist for Pakistan in the history of the competition.
Neeraj recorded his best throw of 88.17m in his second attempt after he opened the title clash with a foul. Nadeem also started slowly, but registered his season-best throw of 87.82m in his third attempt, catapulting him to the second position.
The duo did not improve on these throws till the end, while Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch secured bronze with the best throw of 86.67m.
After the historic gold medal win, Neeraj and Nadeem hugged each other. In a heart-warming gesture, Neeraj invited Nadeem for the photographs with the Indian flag at the back.
This Neeraj did after he noticed that the Pakistani was missing from the frame while they posed for the cameras in a ritual act.
For the first time, India had three competitors in the final with Kishore Jena (best of 84.77 m) having finished fifth, while DP Manu (best of 84.14 m) finished sixth.
Neeraj had bagged the silver medal at the World Championships last year.