Year end 2021: Neeraj Chopra stands tall on Tokyo podium, stamps it as his year

The year 2021 will forever be known as Neeraj Chopra The year. There would hardly be anyone who could have imagined an Indian winning an athletics gold at the Olympics. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, there were high expectations from Neeraj regarding his performance and some might have even expected a bronze, but a gold was a distant dream – and Neeraj realized it in billions.

Neeraj topped the javelin throw qualification with a throw of 86.65m. In his first attempt, he broke the qualification mark of 83.50m to reach the final. In the final, Neeraj was the first to take the throw and set a scintillating marker with a throw of 87.03m. In his second throw, he covered a distance of 87.58 meters which eventually earned him the gold medal.

The video of his gold medal winning throw went viral on social media and everyone had the same name that evening. Neeraj won everyone’s heart with his curvy locks, honest words and hardworking attitude. He was respected by everyone in India and was even asked about his personal life, but with an innocence, he brushed aside those questions and said that his focus was on his game. But stay on.

Technique

Dr Klaus Bartonitz, a biomechanics expert who worked with Neeraj before the Olympics, said it was the belief of merit that carried the gold medalist to the final.

“It’s a mental thing, that the others had to throw anymore and Neeraj could have waited (after the first two throws).

“Everyone could have made a great throw first and then everyone else would have had this problem mentally. But he was the only one who did it, and the waiter couldn’t adjust his technique to the circumstances,” Bartonitz explained to olympics.com.

Read also | Shouldn’t be happy with just one gold medal, and will try to win: Neeraj Chopra

Even though Bartonitz believed that the margin of victory was not much, he agreed that on that day and in those conditions, Neeraj displayed the best of technique.

“It can be said. Neeraj was the quickest, quickest run-up. But the difference is with the 91cm Czech man [Vadlejch], It is just over 1 per cent (of full throws). It’s really nothing. But the bottom line is that (Neeraj had) the farthest throw and the highest velocity with the optimum angle,” he said.

After his huge throw, Neeraj landed on his palms, something he had not done before. Bartonitz explained both sides of the technique of the fall, saying that some great throws, such as the world record of 98.48 m set by Jan Zelezny, have come this way, but there is no real need to do so and one has to be very fast. .

See also | How did Neeraj Chopra win gold for India in the Javelin Throw final?

While Johannes Vetter said that Neeraj used new blocking techniques to improve his throws, it was more visible in qualifying than in the final. Neeraj’s strength lies in his gymnast-like flexible body and quick arm movement.

effect

Neeraj’s gold medal in the Olympics has shaken an entire sport in the country. While people knew Neeraj for his world junior record and silky, long locks, there was not much interest in javelin throw as a sport.

Standing on top of the highest podium possible, he made people turn their heads toward athletics and javelin throw.

After his victory, various videos of children imitating the javelin throw went viral on social media as the craze for the 23-year-old spread through the roof.

Chopra had won the Arjuna Award only in 2018 after the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, but this year, he was awarded the highest sporting honor in the country as he was awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

Not only this, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh changed the name of Army Sports Institute (ASI) Stadium in Pune to ‘Neeraj Chopra Stadium’.

Read also | Neeraj Chopra: Gold Medal, Olympic Career and Awards He Won

After a career-threatening injury and shoulder surgery, all this could have ruined all his hopes.

21 years after India’s first and second Olympic medals by Norman Pritchard (pre-independence), Neeraj once again made it possible. And this time, India’s national anthem was played in Tokyo to medal in a sport that is one of the most global sports in the world.

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