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The Ding Dong Duel That Thrilled Asia

October 05, 2023 09:41 IST
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Neeraj Chopra

IMAGE: Frame this image for the ages! It has never happened before. Gold and Silver in the Javelin both won by Indian athletes. Photograph: AFI/X

Olympic and World Champion Neeraj Chopra successfully defended his Asian Games gold medal in a thrilling duel with fellow Indian athlete Kishore Jena, overcoming a technical glitch that added to the drama.

Neeraj, the overwhelming favorite in the event, faced an unexpected challenge from Jena, who stunned everyone with a massive throw of 86.77 metres, surpassing the World champion's 84.49 metres in his second attempt.

The competition got off to a dramatic start as Neeraj's initial throw was not recorded due to a bizarre malfunction in the electronic distance measurement system.

IMAGE: The officials explain to Neeraj Chopra that the distance measurement system did not record his first throw. Photograph: Jeremy Lee/Reuters


The stadium throbbed with excitement as Neeraj and Kishore engaged in a gripping battle to outperform each other.

Neeraj, demonstrating the spirit of a true champion, responded to Kishore's challenge by delivering a season-best throw of 88.88 metres in his fourth attempt, reclaiming the lead.

IMAGE: Neeraj in action here and below. Photographs: Jeremy Lee/Reuters







Kishore then gave his all, achieving a personal best distance of 87.54 metres, but it was only enough to secure second place behind Neeraj.

The Indians couldn't surpass their previous throws and ultimately settled for a remarkable 1-2 finish.

IMAGE: Neeraj and Kishore know they have won gold and silver. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Kishore's performance earned him a spot in the Paris Olympics, surpassing the qualification mark of 85.50 metres.

Neeraj has already marked his place in the 2024 Games with a winning throw of 88.77 metres at the World Championships in Budapest in August.

Neeraj Chopra

IMAGE: Neeraj Chopra and Kishore Kumar Jena hug each other after the Men's Javelin final. Photograph: Jeremy Lee/Reuters


IMAGE: Neeraj, Kishore and Bronze medallist Japan's Roderick Genki Dean at the medal ceremony. Photograph: Tingshu Wang/Reuters
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