Looking back at the historic final where he won India’s first ever athletics gold at the Olympics, Neeraj Chopra said he had to take his javelin back from Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem before registering his first throw.
“I was searching for my javelin at the start of the final. 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,” Chopra was quoted as saying by Times of India.
With a throw of 87.58 metres, Neeraj shared the podium with Czech duo of Jakub Vadlejch and Vítězslav Veselý, while his Pakistani counterpart had finished fifth in the event.
Here’s the video that establishes Neeraj’s claim:
Neeraj on Tuesday paid a visit to his former coach Kashinath Naik. Confirming the development, Naik told PTI that Chopra had visited his house in the Mundhwa area at around 1pm and spent over an hour with him.
Naik was one of the javelin coaches when Neeraj first joined NIS Patiala in 2015 but after a few months the Olympic champion was assigned a foreign coach since early 2016.
Chopra created history by becoming the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold medal at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj was in the city to attend a programme to name the stadium at the Army Sports Institute (ASI) after him on Monday, but the programme was deferred.