Hangzhou [China]: India's javelin star Neeraj Chopra lived up to the expectations to win the gold at the Asian games and his compatriot Kishore Kumar Jena took home a silver medal as Indian athletes put up a power-packed performance at the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
Neeraj Chopra defended his title and scripted history at the continental event. The event was watched eagerly on TV screens across the country as the two Indians stole the limelight.
There was a neck-to-neck competition between two Indian athletes and Neeraj prevailed with his season's best throw of 88.88 metres.
Jena too showed his mettle.
Neeraj entered the Hangzhou Stadium amidst roaring applause from the fans and the 'Golden Boy' made a strong first throw. But Neeraj had to wait to know the distance.
After a bizarre 15-minute delay and discussion, Neeraj's first throw seemed to be around the 89m mark. Unfortunately, it wasn't recorded.
In the next throw, his first official, Neeraj did not cross the 85-level mark. It ended at 82.38m. But the star athlete, who has a huge fan following in India, made an epic comeback. He bettered his own score at Games in his second attempt.
Neeraj's third attempt was declared foul. There was a neck-to-neck competition between two Indian athletes for the top spot. Jena took quite a decent attempt with a distance of 81.26, his second throw was registered at 79.96m after confusion regarding his foot placement.
A sensational throw in the third attempt saw Jena overtake Neeraj for the number one position. He registered a personal best of 86.77m. Jena also achieved the 2024 Paris Olympics Qualifying Standard of 85.50m and qualified for the summer games.
With a roaring throw in his fourth attempt, Neeraj made a spectacular comeback. The throw went 88.88 metres, his season-best.
The 'Golden Boy' let out a huge roar as he hurled the javelin in the air in his rhythmic style.
Jena scored 87.54m in his fourth throw and achieved another personal best.
The fifth attempt by Neeraj landed at 80.80m. After five rounds of throw, Neeraj was in gold medal position (88.88m) while Jena was second (87.54m).
Neither player could better their score in the sixth attempt and ended the event as gold and silver medallists.
The past five years have been spectacular for Neeraj Chopra since he won the gold medal in 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. He is now the reigning Olympic and World Champion. Neeraj claimed the world javelin crown earlier this year in Budapest.
The anticipated Neeraj Chopra vs. Arshad Nadeem match could not place in Hangzhou as it was revealed on Tuesday that the Pakistani javelin thrower had withdrawn from the competition due to a chronic knee problem.