New Delhi, Aug 7 (PTI) Several states across the country on Monday celebrated the National Javelin Day to mark Neeraj Chopra's Tokyo Olympics gold medal-winning feat with youngsters turning up for competitions.
Javelin competitions were held in Gujarat, Assam, Haryana and Delhi, among others, according to officials.
On August 7, 2021, Chopra had created history by becoming the first track and field athlete from India to win an Olympic medal, a gold no less, with a best effort of 87.58m in the final in Tokyo.
He had achieved the rare honour with his second throw of that historic day.
He also became India's only second individual gold medallist in the Olympics after shooter Abhinav Bindra's feat in Beijing in 2008.
Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla had urged the youth of the country to come out in large numbers and take part in the competitions on the National Javelin Day.
Recalling the historic day in Tokyo, Chopra had said in a recent video uploaded at the Olympics Youtube channel that the moment he stood on the podium with the National Flag flying and National Anthem being played would remain etched in his memory for his entire life.
"On the podium, when the gold medal was around my neck and the National Flag was being hoisted in front (of me) and the National Anthem was being played, that was a goosebump moment. That memory will remain for my entire life," he said.
"When I secured the gold, I can't explain what went through my mind because it was not a single thought, so many thoughts were running around.
"You train and work hard for that day (of success) and I ran a round of the stadium with the tri-colour in hand. That was a proud moment for me," he said.
Chopra, who has since then become Diamond League champion and World Championships silver medallist, said he had tried for the elusive 90m distance in his last throw of the six attempts in Tokyo but could not breach the mark.
"I had already won the gold and the last throw was mine. I was the only one left to have the last throw of the competition. I thought I will give my 100 per cent. It was up to me to throw near or far.
"I thought I could throw 90m that day in that last throw. I had that feeling and so I gave my 100 per cent. But the technique was not good and it landed at 84m (84.24m)," he said.
On his first throw, Chopra said, "We get one minute (to complete a throw). When I went to the runway with the javelin, a lot of seconds had elapsed. There was a running event happening and so I ran in to be able to throw before the runners crossed (the runway).
"My runway was not that perfect, I checked it, it was zig-zag but it was still a good throw of 87m (87.03m).
"In the second throw, I knew it had been executed very well and it was the best throw of the competition with 87.58m. When we throw, we come to know whether it has gone very well or not," he added.
Chopra said he had put a lot of effort in his third throw but it did not go very well.
"Javelin is a very technical sport, the point at which I had to throw was not great, so it was not a great throw. But I thought it was a great throw and I also celebrated but it turned out to be not a great throw (just 76.79m). So, I sat silently.
"I knew that the fourth and fifth throws had not gone very well, so I fouled (by crossing the line)."