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From One Olympic Gold Medallist to Another: Abhinav Bindra 'Welcomes' Neeraj Chopra to The Club

Neeraj Chopra, of India celebrates winning the gold medal in the final of the men’s javelin throw. (AP Photo)

Neeraj Chopra, of India celebrates winning the gold medal in the final of the men’s javelin throw. (AP Photo)

Neeraj Chopra and Abhinav Bindra are now the two members of an exclusive club of Indians who have won individual gold medals at an Olympic.

Abhinav Bindra has extended his congratulations to Neeraj Chopra who has joined him in an exclusive club of Indians who have won individual gold medal at an Olympic. 13 years after shooter Bindra became the country’s first ever individual gold medallist at the Beijing Games in 2008, Neeraj has emulated his countryman by winning the gold in Tokyo in javelin throw.

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Neeraj thus becomes India’s first ever gold medallist in athletics. His throw of 87.58 in the second attempt was enough for the 23-year-old to seal the top spot and create history.

“And Gold it is for @Neeraj_chopra1.Take a bow, young man ! You have fulfilled a nation’s dream. Thank you! Also, welcome to the club - a much needed addition! Extremely proud. I am so delighted for you," Bindra wrote on his official twitter account.

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He also posted a letter to Neeraj, thanking him for helping India finish their campaign in Tokyo on a high. His medal was the 7th overall for India (1 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze) and is their highest ever tally at an Olympic, surpassing the six medals they won in London Games.

This was Neeraj Chopra’s first appearance at the Olympics but his journey towards clinching an Olympic berth has not been easy, amid a few injury setbacks hindering his goal.

Neeraj made his international debut in 2016, when he won the World U20 Championship in Bydogszcz, Poland, with a world junior record throw of 86.48 metres. He won gold in the 2016 South Asian Games with a throw of 82.23 metres. The fact that he equalled the then-Indian national record added to the significance of this performance.

In 2017 at the Asian Athletic Championships, Neeraj clinched another gold with a throw of 85.23. Only a few months later, in August, Neeraj broke his own record with a throw of 88.06 metres at the Asian Games 2018, where he won gold.

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first published:August 07, 2021, 18:11 IST