Chopra makes history for India with javelin glory - RTHK
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Chopra makes history for India with javelin glory

2021-08-07 HKT 22:01
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  • Neeraj Chopra roars as he celebrates ending a 121-year wait for an athletics gold medal for India. Photo: AP
    Neeraj Chopra roars as he celebrates ending a 121-year wait for an athletics gold medal for India. Photo: AP
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra delivered a first ever Olympic track and field gold medal for India on Saturday as the Tokyo Games athletics competition drew to a close.

A pulsating final night of action saw Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan complete an incredible double with victory in the 10,000m while USA star Allyson Felix brought the curtain down on her 17-year Olympic career with a record-extending relay gold.

Norway celebrated gold in the men's 1,500m with Jakob Ingebrigtsen downing Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot in a thrilling duel while Russian athlete Mariya Lasitskene won the women's high jump.

Chopra, 23, claimed the first athletics gold in India's history with an 87.58m second throw at the Olympic Stadium. It ended India's 121-year wait for an athletics gold. The previous best had been two silver medals won at the 1900 Paris Games.

"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," Chopra said after his win. "It feels unbelievable."

On the track meanwhile the Netherland's brilliant Hassan raced to her second gold of the games after an earlier win in the 5,000m. Twenty-four hours earlier, Hassan had taken bronze in the 1,500m final, part of an audacious bid for an Olympic treble.

There was another superb tactical performance in the men's 1,500m as Norway's Ingebrigtsen won in an Olympic record of 3min 28.32sec.
The 20-year-old added Olympic gold to his European title, easing home after passing long-time leader Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya, who took silver in 3:29.01. Britain's John Kerr claimed bronze.

In the men's and women's 4x400m relays the United States ended what has been a difficult campaign at the Olympic Stadium with a pair of golds.

A star-studded US women's quartet featuring Felix, 400m hurdles gold and silver medallists Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad, along with 800m gold medallist Athing Mu, cruised to victory in 3:16.85, with Poland taking silver and Jamaica bronze.

The win gave the 35-year-old Felix -- competing in her fifth and final Games – an 11th Olympic medal. Only legendary Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, with 12 medals, has more.

The US men's 4x400 team were similarly emphatic winners in their race, with 400m hurdler Rai Benjamin bringing home the gold in 2:55.70, ahead of the Netherlands and Botswana. (AFP)