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Neeraj Chopra wins mens javelin to claim India’s first Olympic track and field gold medal

India claimed its first track and field gold medal with a huge javelin throw.

Neeraj Chopra of Team India reacts as he competes 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

An Indian Olympian made history on Saturday in Tokyo. Neeraj Chopra won the men’s javelin throw gold medal, becoming the first Indian to win a gold in any Olympic track and field event.

Chopra threw the javelin 87.58 meters to secure the win. Czech athlete Jakub Vadlejch won silver with a throw of 86.67 meters and Vadlejch’s country-mate Vitezslav Vesely took bronze with a throw of 85.44 meters.

Germany’s Johannes Vetter was a huge favorite to win the event at DraftKings Sportsbook, with odds of -650, but he only managed a ninth-place showing. He had dominated the event in recent years, being the only one in the field with a throw over 90 meters. The Olympic record remains 90.57 meters, set by Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen in the 2008 Beijing Games. The world record remains 98.48 set by Czech athlete Jan Zelezny in 1996.

The win was India’s seventh overall medal of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and first gold of the Olympiad.