New Delhi, Jul 24 (PTI) From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, the country on Sunday rejoiced Neeraj Chopra’s landmark silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, calling it a “special moment”.
The 24-year-old Chopra, who had entered the showpiece as a hot medal favourite in javelin throw, produced a best throw of 88.13m to finish second behind defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada (90.54m) and become only the second Indian and first male track and field athlete to win a medal at the World Championships.
“A great accomplishment by one of our most distinguished athletes! Congratulations to @Neeraj_chopra1 on winning a historic Silver medal at the #WorldChampionships. This is a special moment for Indian sports. Best wishes to Neeraj for his upcoming endeavours,” PM Modi tweeted.
Hailing the reigning Olympic champion’s achievement, Bindra wrote on his Twitter handle, “Many congratulations @Neeraj_chopra1 for your silver at the worlds! You make us proud. Well done and the best for the rest of the season.” Legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George was the first Indian to win a medal — bronze — in the World Championships in the 2003 edition in Paris.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh too joined the country in praising Chopra and said India is elated by his “stupendous performance”.
“India is elated by the stupendous performance by Subedar @Neeraj_chopra1. Congratulations to him on winning Silver Medal at the #WorldAthleticsChampionships in Eugene, Oregon. His hard work, grit and determination have yielded outstanding results. We are proud of him.” Sports Minister Anurag Thakur was also delighted at Chopra continuing his medal- winning streak at the global arena.
“Neeraj Chopra continues his winning streak! Wins in Men’s javelin throw at @WCHoregon22 with his best throw of 88.13m, becoming the 1st Indian male and 2nd Indian to win a medal at the #WorldChampionships! Neeraj has now won medal at every Global event!” Thakur tweeted.
Uploading a photo of her with the champion javelin thrower, Anju Bobby George wrote, “Congratulations @Neeraj_chopra1 for that magic moment..N welcome to the group..it was a long wait.Thanks to @afiindia @Media_SAI @ianuragthakur for all the support.” Not to be left behind was the legendary P T Usha, who wrote, “Congratulations to @Neeraj_chopra1 for winning the silver at 2022 World Athletics Championships for our country. Your best efforts have made our country proud in the world. Keep the flag flying high. Jai Hind.” Indian hockey team’s ace goalkeeper P R Sreejesh said, “Congratulation brother @Neeraj_chopra1. You are a motivation for billions of people.” The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) also congratulated Chopra on his stupendous performance.
It was a nervy start for Chopra as he opened with a foul before registering 82.39m and 86.37m to be at fourth after three rounds.
But, to the relief of the Indian contingent, and the legions of his fans back home, he got his rhythm back as he came up with a big fourth round throw of 88.13m, his fourth career-best effort, to jump to second place, which he held on to till the end.
His fifth and sixth throws were fouls.
Chopra had won gold in Tokyo Olympics last year with a second round throw of 87.58m and had just needed a first round effort of 88.39m to qualify for the finals at second place here.
His silver saw India featuring in the medal table of the worlds for the first time in nearly two decades. India were placed at joint 28th in the standings. PTI AH AH PDS PDS
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