Neeraj Chopra finally ended 100-year wait for an Olympic medal in athletics by winning the gold in the men's javelin throw final on Saturday at Tokyo Olympics. It also meant that India registered its best-ever haul of medals in a single edition of the Games with seven, including two silver and four bronze. And this is the first individual gold medal for India in 13 years. Shooter Abhinav Bindra was the last Indian to win individual gold at Beijing 2008. Follow live updates here:
5:57 PM IST: Jakub Vadlejch (86.67) and Vitezslav Vesely (85.44), make it 2-3 for the Czech Republic. But pre-competition favourite, Johannes Vetter of Germany did not make the final round of throws. He finishes 9th. Another German, Julian Weber (85.30) and Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem (84.62) complete the top five.
5:44 PM IST: Finally! India. Neeraj Chopra. Javelin Throw. Tokyo Olympics.
After so many near misses, India finally found its golden athlete as Chopra delivered the elusive Olympic medal in athletics ending a wait of 100 years with a medal in the men's javelin throw final.
Chopra, 23, produced a throw of 87.03m in his first attempt to lead the pack of 12 throwers, which also featured Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem and hot favourite, Johannes Vetter of Germany. Chopra, the Asiad and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, improved it to 87.58m in the second even as Vetter failed to make the cut with two no throws. He could manage only 82.52m in his first attempt.
And 87.58m is more than enough to give India much-needed gold!
5:40 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Sixth Attempts
Only three left. And first medal for India. And first athletics gold medal for India.
5:30 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Fifth Attempts
Another poor attempt from Neeraj Chopra and he makes it a foul throw. But he still leads the gold medal race.
5:26 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Fourth Attempts
Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic inches closer to Neeraj Chopra with a throw of 86.67m in his fifth attempt. Another Czech thrower, Vitezslav Vesley remains a strong medal contender too.
5:20 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Fourth Attempts
No throw, a deliberate one, for Neeraj Chopra in the fourth attempt. Just about touches 80m.
5:12 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Third Attempts
What a blow. Favourite Johannes Vetter is out. His best of 82.52m is not enough to make the final. But there is another German left in the fray. Julian Webber, who managed a best throw of 85.30m. Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem is fourth with a best of 84.62, just behind Weber.
5:07 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Third Attempts
Another no throw from Johannes Vetter. His best is 82.52m. And Arshad Nadeem seems to have escaped the drop zone. His third attempt is worth 84.62m, and now third.
From the 12, eight will progress to the second round.
5:00 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Third Attempts
Poor one from Neeraj Chopra in the third attempt. Only 76.79m. But he still leads the pack.
4:54 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Second Attempts
Johannes Vetter slips in the follow-through. And no throw. Also a no throw for Arshad Nadeem too in the second attempt.
4:50 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - Second Attempts
Neeraj Chopra is on a song now. 87.58m in the second attempt.
8:45 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts
Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejsh moves to third with a throw of 83.98m.
4:43 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts
Another medal contender and Neeraj Chopra's good friend, Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan, is fourth with 82.40m.
4:40 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts
Germany's Julian Weber is second, behind Neeraj Chopra, with an 85.30m throw. The hot favourite Johannes Vetter also of Germany starts with 82.52. And is third.
4:33 PM IST: Athletics - Men's Javelin Throw, Final - First Attempts
Action starts. Adrian Mardare of Moldova produces 81.16m. And Neeraj Chopra opens with a strong throw. 87.03.
4:01 PM IST: Finalists have left the call room. One final preparation before the showdown.
Neeraj Chopra is listed second in the start list. 12 are fighting for javelin gold.
The Tokyo Olympics men’s javelin throw final will be telecast live on the Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 1 HD, Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 2 HD TV channels in India. Sony TEN 3, Sony TEN 3 HD, Sony TEN 4 and Sony TEN 4 HD will broadcast Tokyo 2020 in regional languages. Live streaming of the Tokyo Olympics men’s javelin throw final will be available on Sony Liv.
Neeraj Chopra will be up against a quality field in the Tokyo Olympics javelin final on Saturday. Interestingly, Chopra will face some serious competition from Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem who did well to finish among the top 12 in the qualifying. In Olympics, an India-Pak clash has always been restricted to men's hockey but javelin will see one this time. Former world and Olympic champions Pakistan men's hockey team did not qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Germany’s Johannes Vetter is a hot favourite for the Tokyo Olympics javelin gold. The world No. 1 and world champion has the year’s best throw of 96.29m.
In the qualifying, Vetter played second fiddle to Neeraj Chopra with a throw of 85.64m. Vetter is one man who has thrown the spear over 90 metres several times. The German will be aiming to break the Olympic record of 90.57m - set by Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway at Beijing 2008.
Neeraj Chopra has come to Tokyo 2020 with a lot of reputation behind him. He has won almost everything in 2018 -- junior world championship, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
The 23-year-old broke his own national record in March this year and has consistently pitched above 85 metres this year. His personal best is a 88:07 and that makes him a serious medal contender in Tokyo 2020.