Neeraj Chopra takes a huge leap into the ‘league of legends’ as he holds his nerve to defend the Asian Games gold

Neeraj Chopra wins gold at the Asian Games with a SB throw of 88.88m.

Neeraj Chopra takes a huge leap into the ‘league of legends’ as he holds his nerve to defend the Asian Games gold

Neeraj Chopra (Image via Sony Sports Network)

If Neeraj Chopra had to turn on beast mode, Wednesday was proof of it. The way the technical officials at the Asian Games in Hangzhou made a hash of it in the javelin final, where Neeraj’s first throw was not even registered, he could have had a heart attack.

Neeraj looked worried, his body was losing warmth, and he was pulling on another layer of the jacket. In between Kishore Kumar Jena took the lead and threatened to walk away with gold in Hangzhou. Damn, that would have been a blowout. Neeraj kept himself fired up, like that fighter pilot ready for the scramble. The emotions he went through were tough to digest. Time was running out, no, not for Neeraj.


Fourth attempt. Neeraj ran, beautiful flow, rhythm and release of the 800gm javelin. It went high in the air, arc lights in full glare. When it landed, with a gentle thud, the electronic scoreboard showed 88.88 metres. Applause, cheering and screaming in the stands. For the “Haryanavi chorra” this was his season’s best, 88.88 metres. And this was his last event of the season. Neeraj was angry, it showed on his face. If anger could make him do a role like Amitabh Bachchan, he pulled it off.

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There will be smirk, sarcasm and more leg-pulling for the hosts, how did Neeraj’s first fling which looked over 85 metres not get a legit recording? It was shameful, to say the least. It was something which should never happen to any athlete or any country. Thank God, Neeraj did the magic, win gold. He craved it, he worked for it, and he ensured India had gold and silver where he had Jena for company.

Neeraj Chopra and Jena
Neeraj Chopra and Jena (Image via Sony Sports Network)

This was an emotional night. Fans choked, cried, angry, both in India and China. Some TV sets must have been smashed as well in anger. In the end, Neeraj walked out proud. The national anthem played, gold and silver for India, the nation now has a pair, hunting with the javelin.

It has been a long season for Neeraj. He has slogged crazily, the Diamond League, World Championship and then the Asian Games. There was no way he could skip this, there was no way he could not win it. For the Tokyo Olympics gold medallist to warm the cockles of billions was a must. And the way he responded was sheer brilliance.

It was rhapsody, there cannot be an encore. Having touched 88.88 metres, his body had done more than maximum this year. How much Neeraj is drained out, we will hear soon in his interviews. To come to China and pull it off was lovely. This was the last event in the track and field program. What do you call him dude, or bro? Well, that’s Neeraj Chopra for you!


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