World champion Neeraj Chopra said: ‘I thank the people of India for staying up late’

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BudapestWorld champion Neeraj Chopra on Monday thanked Indian fans for staying up late and watching his show. Neeraj won India’s historic first gold medal by topping the men’s javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championships here.

Their game started at 11:45 pm IST (on Sunday) and went on till 1 am. Speaking to reporters afterward, Chopra thanked the Indian fans and said it was a medal for the country. Neeraj said, ‘I want to thank the people of India for staying up late. This medal is for the whole of India. I’m Olympic champion, now world champion. Keep working hard in various fields. We have to earn a name in the world.

Neeraj, who had been troubled by injury for the last few months, stormed the competition with a throw of 88.17m in his second attempt. Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem won the silver medal with a throw of 87.82m, the first World Championship medal for his country, while Jakub Vadlej of the Czech Republic retained the bronze medal he won in Oregon last year with a distance of 86.67.

Two other Indians in the competition also did their best but could not make it to the podium – Kishore Kumar Jena, who had to fight visa problems to reach Budapest, finished fifth with a personal best throw of 84.77, while D. P. Manu finished sixth with 84.14.

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