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Neeraj claims historic javelin throw gold at CWG

Press Trust of India  |  Gold Coast 

today became the first Indian thrower to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, pulling off a season's best effort of 86.47m in the final here.

The 20-year-old former junior world champion had made the final after achieving the qualifying mark in his very first throw yesterday and today again, he was leaps ahead of the field with his very first throw.

"It is a very important medal for me, I wanted to touch my personal best but I missed it by a centimetre. In my desperation for that, I tried so hard that I tumbled over in my last two attempts. But I am very happy and I have lot of competitions this year to achieve the personal best," Neeraj said after his triumph.

Neeraj was the favourite for gold here after his 85.94m throw during the Federation Cup National Championships last month and he achieved India's first gold in in this edition of

The CWG field had been depleted after and world silver-medallist of failed to qualify for final round, while 2012 Olympic champion and Rio Games bronze-winner Keshorn Walcott opted out of

Neeraj thus became only the second thrower to claim a CWG medal -- the first being Kashinath Naik, who fetched a bronze in the 2010 Delhi Games.

"The competition was very good here, the world champion was here but he could not qualify. It was still quite tough but I was very sure of myself," Neeraj said.

Overall, Neeraj's medal is only the fifth track-and-field gold for in the quadrennial event -- the other four being (1958), thrower (2010), the women's 4x400m relay quartet of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur(2010) and shot-putter (2014).

Neeraj, a gold-medallist at the Asian Championships, simply destroyed the competition with his very first attempt today which was 85.50m.

None in the field could surpass that till the very end and it was left to Neeraj to up the ante, which he did with a season's best 86.47m in his fourth attempt. He consistently crossed the 82m mark in the final, fouling two attempts in all.

"It makes a lot of difference when you manage to get a first throw like that. It builds pressure on others. As for me, I was not under any pressure or nerves, I was well-prepared," he said.

The fun-loving youngster laughed when asked how he would celebrate the momentous occasion but did speak about the importance of letting one's hair down once in a while to escape stress.

"One shouldn't be too serious in life, it's good to be disciplined but you should not overdo A bit of enjoyment always works. One should have faith that their training is good enough. It's not healthy to just lock yourself in a room before a big competition," he advised.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 12:20 IST