Neeraj Chopra is now an Olympic gold-medallist. His throw of 87.58m in the men’s javelin throw final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ends India’s 100-year wait for an Olympic medal in athletics. With that achieved, he has now joined Abhinav Bindra in an exclusive two-man gold club. Apart from Bindra, he is now the only second Indian to have a gold medal in an individual event. 

Neeraj talking about retired shooter Bindra’s effect on the athletes, he said that India’s athletes look up to him in their endeavour to win an individual top prize at the Olympics.

He thanked Bindra, the country’s first individual gold medallist at the Olympics, for instilling the belief that Indian athletes can finish on top at sport’s biggest stage.

“It always feels great that he was the lone gold medallist in an individual sport for India. Everyone looks up to him. So I joining him today is like a dream for me. We used to think that Abhinav Bindra has achieved such a great feat,” Neeraj said.

“Standing alongside him today is a great feeling. He has opened us to that thought of winning gold at the Olympics. So he has contributed immensely,” the athlete from Panipat added.

A delighted Bindra congratulated Neeraj for winning the first gold medal in athletics in Olympics.

“Dear @Neeraj_chopra1, thank you for your kind words but your victory is due to your hard work and determination alone. This moment belongs to you! Enjoy and savour it!!!” Bindra tweeted.

Bindra, during the 2008 Beijing Games, became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic medal in the 10m rifle shooting event.

Neeraj had topped the qualification three days ago and did better than that in the finals as he produced a best throw of 87.58m to get India its first track-and-field medal.

It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good. We have just one gold here in other sports,” the 23-year-old said after winning the historic gold.

“This is our first Olympic medal for a very long time, and in athletics it is the first time we have gold, so it’s a proud moment for me and my country,” he added.

“In the qualification round I threw very well so I knew I could do better in the final. (But) I didn’t know it would be gold but I am very happy,” he added.