Neeraj Chopra gave his many followers a wild ride that spanned the globe. The silver medal he was wearing around his neck at the World Championships held in Eugene, Portland, United States of America, was only compensation for what had been a physically and emotionally draining competition for him and the spectators.
On Saturday night (local time), however, the Indian population in the United States, which is dispersed from East to West Coast, was also fiddling with TV remotes and cell phones to see the 24-year-old demonstrate his skills. Over oceans, Neeraj's power has reached people. Neeraj Chopra has a fervent following both here and across the Atlantic.
Everything changed with Neeraj's fourth throw. The giant electronic scoreboard flashed 88.13 metres, which was a big relief. Neeraj could not hide the emotions, he yelled. The facial contours and the yell was a release of energy. It revealed how much he craved for this medal. There may be some who would have wanted to see the champion go over 90 metres but it's not so easy.
For Neeraj as well, the alarm did really sound. Neeraj had to make the most of his efforts since Anderson Peters of Grenada cranked up the intensity from the first throw on with powerful efforts, recording lengths in the 90-metre zone. He would have liked for his right thigh to be in excellent condition. But he was aware that he needed to work as hard as he could to get motivated. Neeraj might have breathed easier after he threw the colorful javelin 88.13 meters. Neeraj was pleased with the outcome when the last round of throws was over. Anju Bobby George had previously earned a bronze medal in long jump at the World Championship in Paris in 2003.