Genre : Sports
In a dramatic turn of events at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra retained his gold medal despite an unusual incident that forced him to retake his first throw. The incident stemmed from officials failing to measure his initial throw before the next athlete’s attempt, leading to a surprising rerun. While the moment was marked by initial protests, Neeraj Chopra’s eventual acceptance of the decision showcased a remarkable display of sportsmanship.
The extraordinary sequence of events unfolded when Neeraj Chopra’s first throw appeared to have exceeded the impressive 85-meter mark. However, due to a procedural error, his initial attempt was unmeasured. Consequently, Neeraj reluctantly agreed to rethrow his first attempt, which ultimately landed at the 82.38-meter mark.
Despite the initial setback, Neeraj Chopra displayed incredible resilience and skill, ultimately achieving a remarkable distance of 88.88 meters with his fourth throw, securing the gold medal. India’s Kishore Kumar Jena, overcoming an erroneously awarded red flag and demonstrating substantial improvement, claimed the silver medal with a throw of 87.54 meters, while also securing his place in the upcoming Paris Olympics.
In the wake of the event, Neeraj Chopra expressed his initial puzzlement at being required to make seven throws instead of the usual six. When asked about his decision to agree to the rethrow, he revealed that he initially protested but recognized the inconvenience his fellow athletes were facing. Neeraj explained, “I was apologizing to them for making them wait. It was breezy, and other athletes were cooling down. It was getting unfair on them. So they offered me a re-throw, and I accepted.”
Reflecting on his initial throw, Neeraj Chopra stated, “The first throw looked good; I’ll look at the video again to see how far it might have gone. It’s surprising; they didn’t measure it. I am still puzzled; apparently, the second athlete threw before they could even measure my throw, and they lost the mark then.” This unusual incident left Neeraj and his fellow athletes perplexed, as such situations are rare in major competitions and can affect athletes mentally.
Anju Bobby George, Senior Vice President of the Athletics Federation of India, expressed her frustration with the handling of the situation and its impact on Indian athletes. She criticized the officials, stating, “Neeraj’s first throw was a very good throw. But they weren’t ready to measure it. The same thing also happened with Annu Rani (who won gold for India in women’s javelin throw event) yesterday. I don’t know why they are doing this with Indian athletes. They are trying to cheat us, disturb our athletes.”
Despite the unusual circumstances, Neeraj Chopra commended his compatriot Kishore Kumar Jena for his impressive performance, which briefly saw him take the lead. “Apna hi banda push kar raha hai (My compatriot is pushing me.) What can be better than that,” Neeraj remarked, acknowledging the friendly competition.
In a conversation with the official broadcasters, Sony LIV, Neeraj shared his thoughts on the incident, saying, “Today I thought I would cross the 90m mark. But then the thing with the first throw happened. Acchi throw thi. Naapa nahi unhone. Kaafi officials ke saath behas bhi hui. (It was a good throw, but they didn’t measure it. So there was some argument with them also).” He also expressed his delight for Jena’s performance and the enjoyable competition they shared.
Neeraj Chopra’s victory not only highlighted his exceptional talent but also demonstrated the importance of sportsmanship and resilience in the face of unexpected challenges. His gold medal triumph will undoubtedly be remembered as a testament to his skill and the unwavering spirit of Indian athletes on the global stage.
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