Neeraj Chopra blew away the rest of the field to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics. In his very first throw in the men’s javelin final, Neeraj Chopra achieved a distance no other athlete could match — 87.03m. The Indian athlete revealed in an interview that he had taken his first throw hurriedly after a delay as he couldn’t locate his javelin, which he spotted in the hands of Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem. On Thursday, Neeraj posted a video saying he was “extremely disappointed at the reactions” to his comments.
“I would request everyone to please not use me and my comments as a medium to further your vested interests and propaganda. Sports teaches us to be together and united. I’m extremely disappointed to see some of the reactions from the public on my recent comments,” tweeted the Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner.
He also said there was nothing wrong with Arshad Nadeem taking his javelin and everything that transpired during the final was in accordance with the rules, and there was no need to make a big issue of it.
“A big issue has been made over my remarks in an interview. All the personal javelins are kept in one place, where any thrower can use it, this is the rule. There was nothing wrong with him (Arshad Nadeem) taking my javelin and preparing for his throw. Before my throw, I asked him for it. I’m sad that a big issue is being made out of my comments. I request everyone not to do this,” Neeraj said in the video.
In the interview to The Times of India, he had said that he was looking for his javelin before his first throw and saw the Pakistan athlete “moving around” with it.
“I was searching for my javelin at the start of the final (in Olympics). I was not able to find it. Suddenly, I saw Arshad Nadeem was moving around with my javelin. Then I told him, ‘Bhai give this javelin to me, it is my javelin! I have to throw with it’. He gave it back to me. That’s why you must have seen I took my first throw hurriedly,” Neeraj Chopra had earlier told The Times of India.
The mark of 87.03m was bettered by Neeraj himself, with his second throw –– a gold-winning distance of 87.58m.
Many expected Johannes Vetter to better the mark but the German tanked in the final, unable to even qualify for the final eight.