Chopra goes farthest for men’s javelin gold as Vadlejch takes silver and Veselý goes bronze

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Neeraj Chopra of Team India reacts after competing in the Men's Javelin Throw final on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Neeraj Chopra of Team India reacts after competing in the Men's Javelin Throw final on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

India’s Neeraj Chopra threw 87.58m early in the competition to take the gold in the men’s javelin final of Tokyo 2020 (in 2021), with Czechs Jakub Vadlejch and Vítězslav Veselý going silver and bronze respectively with season-best throws.

Neeraj Chopra of India took home the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw here at the Tokyo 2020 (in 2021) Olympic Games with a best effort of 87.58m on the final day of throws at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

In his Olympic debut, Chopra became only the second Indian man to claim an Olympic medal in athletics, after Norman Pritchard took the men's 200m (silver) and 200m hurdles (silver) in 1900.

“It feels unbelievable," said Chopra after winning his historic gold. "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. 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 threw his best with only his second attempt and it proved a road too far for the other competitors on the day as he’ll bring his rare gold back to India to much fanfare.

The silver went to Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic (86.67m) and his countryman Vítězslav Veselý took the bronze (85.44m).

“It's incredible because Vítězslav [Veselý] won the bronze medal," said silver winner Vadlejch about the two Czech positions on the podium. "So it's amazing. It’s perfect, it's perfect feelings, I'm very glad.”

Johannes Vetter of Germany was trying to become only the third man to win Olympic gold and the world title in this event. But he could only manage ninth place with a best throw of 82.52m.