Tokyo Olympics: Eyes on India-Pakistan rivalry on thrilling day as Neeraj Chopra eyes historic javelin medal

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Three years ago, on a fine evening in Jakarta, India’s Javelin sensation Neeraj Chopra was standing on the podium with a gold medal hanging around his neck. The 23-year-old proved he has the potential to be one of India’s greatest track and field athletes with a monstrous throw of 88.06m to win the Gold medal at the Asian Games in 2018.

Standing alongside Neeraj Chopra on the podium was Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem. The 24-year-old thrower from Khanewal had scripted history by winning the bronze medal in Men’s javelin at the Asian Games with a throw of 80.75m.

As the tri-colour went up along with the Chinese and Pakistan flags at the podium, the Asian community rejoiced. To add a cherry to the cake, Neeraj and Arshad share a heartwarming moment on the podium, greeting each other while being draped with their respective national flags.

The photo went viral as fans of the sport from both countries embraced the show of sportsmanship from Neeraj and Arshad.

After the Asian Games, Arshad had said he is inspired by Neeraj’s efforts and wants to emulate or even go one step better than the world junior champion from India.

Neeraj and Arshad eye historic medals in Tokyo

Neeraj Chopra looking to script history for India in Tokyo (Reuters Photo)

In a faraway field on Saturday, August 7, Neeraj Chopra and Arshad Nadeem will have an opportunity to script history for their respective countries. While Neeraj is bidding to end Independent India’s wait for an Olympic medal in track and field, Arshad became the first Pakistan athlete to directly reach the final of a track and field event at the Olympics.

The two athletes, leading Asia’s campaign in the star-studded javelin final, face a stiff test from some of the best in the world, including Germany’s Johannes Vetter who has thrown beyond 90m as many as 7 times in 2021. He is a firm favourite for the gold medal but if Neeraj and Arshad’s performances in the qualifying round earlier this week is anything to go by, the Asians are going to give a stiff fight to the other medal hopefuls.

Neeraj was all swag in the qualifying round on August 4. He came, threw 86.65m, which was well beyond the automatic qualification mark of 83.50. Neeraj saw the javelin soar into the sky beyond the yellow line. He packed his bags and left the field after just one throw.

In the end, Neeraj went on to top the qualification round.

A few minutes later, Arshad, a 1.87m-tall athlete, stunned the field in Qualification Group B with a throw of 85.16m. The Pakistan coaches at the National Stadium stood up and applauded as Arshad stormed into the final. In fact, he topped the qualification Group B.

Germany’s Vetter finished at the 2nd spot among the 12 qualified athletes with a throw of 85.64m in his final attempt.

Why Neeraj is a firm favourite for podium finish?.

A nation of a billion-plus is awaiting a historic medal with bated breath, knowing it is well within the country’s reach – an unprecedented feeling when it comes to track and field events at the Tokyo Games.

Since Norman Pritchard won two silver medals on the track in 1900, no Indian athlete has finished on the podium in track and field at the Olympics. Legendary athletes Milkha Singh and PT Usha came close in 1960 and 1984, respectively only to end up with agonising 4th-place finishes.

Neeraj has allowed expectations to hit the roof. He has done it in the past and the absence of Poland’s Marcin Krukowski and the reigning world champion Keshorn Walcott and Rio Olympics silver medalist Julius Yego puts Neeraj among the favourites.

Among the finalists in Tokyo, Neeraj has the second-best throw of the season.Arshad, who is also among the top 10 throwers of the season, has a personal best of 86.38m.

If the Indian star manages to throw anywhere near his personal best of 88.06m, he is likely to light up India’s spirits.

Can Pakistan’s Arshad join Neeraj on the podium once again?

Tokyo Olympics: India records its best performance, but where does Pakistan stand in medal tally?

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India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra became the first track and field athlete from the country to win gold at Olympics. He threw the javelin to a distance of 87.58m at the Tokyo Olympics to pick up the gold medal on Saturday (August 7). With Neeraj’s feat, India also saw its new record of winning the highest number of medals at the Olympics, surpassing the 2012 record in London, thus registering its best-ever performance with a total of seven medals.

Moreover, India jumped to 47th position in the Tokyo Olympics medal tally after Neeraj’s gold. But the million-dollar question is where does India’s rival nation Pakistan stand on the list?

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Interestingly, Pakistan is NOT even on the medal tally as they have won ZERO laurels in the ongoing 2020 Games.

As per the current medal standings chart, the last country present on the list is Syria, which is placed in the 86th position with a mere one bronze. However, Pakistan is nowhere to be seen on the list as they failed to bag even a single medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

Notably, some of the other India’s neighboring nations – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal have also failed to make it to the tally as even they didn’t win a single medal at the ongoing Games in Tokyo.

Check the Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal tally HERE

Meanwhile, for India, Neeraj Chopra (Gold), Bajrang Punia (Bronze), Mirabai Chanu (Silver), PV Sindhu (Bronze), Lovlina Borgohain (Bronze), men’s hockey team (Bronze), and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (Silver) have won medals at the Tokyo Olympics and made the nation proud with their outstanding performances.

Neeraj Chopra Flies Into Olympics History With First-Ever Athletics Gold For India At Tokyo 2020 - Highlights

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Neeraj Chopra Flies Into Olympics History With First-Ever Athletics Gold For India At Tokyo 2020 - Highlights

Neeraj Chopra finally ended 100-year wait for an Olympic medal in athletics by winning the gold in the men’s javelin throw final on Saturday at Tokyo Olympics. It also meant that India registered its best-ever haul of medals in a single edition of the Games with seven, including two silver and four bronze. And this is the first individual gold medal for India in 13 years. Shooter Abhinav Bindra was the last Indian to win individual gold at Beijing 2008. Follow live updates here:


5:57 PM IST: Jakub Vadlejch (86.67) and Vitezslav Vesely (85.44), make it 2-3 for the Czech Republic. But pre-competition favourite, Johannes Vetter of Germany did not make the final round of throws. He finishes 9th. Another German, Julian Weber (85.30) and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem (84.62) complete the top five.

5:44 PM IST: Finally! India. Neeraj Chopra. Javelin Throw. Tokyo Olympics.

After so many near misses, India finally found its golden athlete as Chopra delivered the elusive Olympic medal in athletics ending a wait of 100 years with a medal in the men’s javelin throw final.

Chopra, 23, produced a throw of 87.03m in his first attempt to lead the pack of 12 throwers, which also featured Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem and hot favourite, Johannes Vetter of Germany. Chopra, the Asiad and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, improved it to 87.58m in the second even as Vetter failed to make the cut with two no throws. He could manage only 82.52m in his first attempt.

And 87.58m is more than enough to give India much-needed gold!

5:40 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Sixth Attempts

Only three left. And first medal for India. And first athletics gold medal for India.

5:30 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Fifth Attempts

Another poor attempt from Neeraj Chopra and he makes it a foul throw. But he still leads the gold medal race.

5:26 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Fourth Attempts

Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic inches closer to Neeraj Chopra with a throw of 86.67m in his fifth attempt. Another Czech thrower, Vitezslav Vesley remains a strong medal contender too.

5:20 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Fourth Attempts

No throw, a deliberate one, for Neeraj Chopra in the fourth attempt. Just about touches 80m.

5:12 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Third Attempts

What a blow. Favourite Johannes Vetter is out. His best of 82.52m is not enough to make the final. But there is another German left in the fray. Julian Webber, who managed a best throw of 85.30m. Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem is fourth with a best of 84.62, just behind Weber.

5:07 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Third Attempts

Another no throw from Johannes Vetter. His best is 82.52m. And Arshad Nadeem seems to have escaped the drop zone. His third attempt is worth 84.62m, and now third.

From the 12, eight will progress to the second round.

5:00 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Third Attempts

Poor one from Neeraj Chopra in the third attempt. Only 76.79m. But he still leads the pack.

4:54 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Second Attempts

Johannes Vetter slips in the follow-through. And no throw. Also a no throw for Arshad Nadeem too in the second attempt.

4:50 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - Second Attempts

Neeraj Chopra is on a song now. 87.58m in the second attempt.

8:45 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts

Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejsh moves to third with a throw of 83.98m.

4:43 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts

Another medal contender and Neeraj Chopra’s good friend, Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan, is fourth with 82.40m.

4:40 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts

Germany’s Julian Weber is second, behind Neeraj Chopra, with an 85.30m throw. The hot favourite Johannes Vetter also of Germany starts with 82.52. And is third.

4:33 PM IST: Athletics - Men’s Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts

Action starts. Adrian Mardare of Moldova produces 81.16m. And Neeraj Chopra opens with a strong throw. 87.03.

4:01 PM IST: Finalists have left the call room. One final preparation before the showdown.

Neeraj Chopra is listed second in the start list. 12 are fighting for javelin gold.

The Tokyo Olympics men’s javelin throw final will be telecast live on the Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 1 HD, Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 2 HD TV channels in India. Sony TEN 3, Sony TEN 3 HD, Sony TEN 4 and Sony TEN 4 HD will broadcast Tokyo 2020 in regional languages. Live streaming of the Tokyo Olympics men’s javelin throw final will be available on Sony Liv.

Neeraj Chopra will be up against a quality field in the Tokyo Olympics javelin final on Saturday. Interestingly, Chopra will face some serious competition from Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem who did well to finish among the top 12 in the qualifying. In Olympics, an India-Pak clash has always been restricted to men’s hockey but javelin will see one this time. Former world and Olympic champions Pakistan men’s hockey team did not qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Germany’s Johannes Vetter is a hot favourite for the Tokyo Olympics javelin gold. The world No. 1 and world champion has the year’s best throw of 96.29m.

In the qualifying, Vetter played second fiddle to Neeraj Chopra with a throw of 85.64m. Vetter is one man who has thrown the spear over 90 metres several times. The German will be aiming to break the Olympic record of 90.57m - set by Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway at Beijing 2008.

Neeraj Chopra has come to Tokyo 2020 with a lot of reputation behind him. He has won almost everything in 2018 – junior world championship, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.

The 23-year-old broke his own national record in March this year and has consistently pitched above 85 metres this year. His personal best is a 88:07 and that makes him a serious medal contender in Tokyo 2020.

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