SUNDAY STORY PAGE 9 THE REBEL WHO CHOSE PEACE NEWDELHI,LATECITY AUGUST8,2021 Zoramthanga has steered Mizoram to being the most peaceful state in NE. But on its land, he won’t back down 18PAGES,`6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, ` 12SRINAGAR) DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM PICTURE PERFECT: Neeraj Chopra during the Men’s Javelin Throw final at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday. Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, AUGUST 7 NEERAJ Chopra didn’t even give it a second glance. The moment he released the javelin, he was so sure it would at least be his personal best that he turned to his coaches, and lifted his arms to celebrate. But Chopra’s gold ensured India ended the Games on a high. PTI Chopra was wrong. It wasn’t his personal best. The throw, which travelled 87.58 m, made him an Olympic champion. From a rank of 200 to No. 4, golfer Aditi’s amazing Tokyo run For100years,Indianathletics has only been about stories of near-misses, shattered dreams and enduring heartbreaks. eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE When the time finally came — at 9.07 pm on a muggy night at Tokyo’s National Stadium — the sport struck gold. Chopra’s medal, which came a little more than an hour after wrestler Bajrang Punia won a bronzeinthe65-kgweightclass, also ensured India’s Olympic sojourn ended on a high. Tokyo 2020 will go down as the country’s most successful campaign, with a total of seven medals — 1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze. The glitter of the javelin gold, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 7MEDALS INDIA’S BEST-EVER OLYMPICS GOLD: NeerajChopra,Men’sJavelin SILVER: Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Men’s freestyle wrestling (57 kg) Mirabai Chanu, Women’s weightlifting (49 kg) BRONZE: Men’s Hockey team Bajrang Punia, Men’s freestyle wrestling (65 kg) Lovlina Borgohain, Women’s boxing (welterweight) P V Sindhu, Women’s badminton Singles FULL COVERAGE PAGES 17, 18 Bajrang gains revenge, bronze in dominating wrestling performance MIHIR VASAVDA EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE ADITIASHOKstruttedoutonthe 18th green as thoughshe wasalways meant to be there. Tipping her hat, waving one hand, flinging her club with the other, and soaking in the thunderous applause from the few hundred people who stood in a semicircle at the edge of the final hole. “GoAshok!”someoneroared from near the main stand. She quickly returned to the Zen mode, lined up her final putt, and those around held their breath. You could hear the finely manicured grass of Saitama’s BAJRANG PUNIA defeated Kazakhstan’sDauletNiyazbekov Saturday to take bronze in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category. Saturday’sboutwasagrudge match with a medal on the line. It was at the hands of Niyazbekov that Punia’s run at the 2019 World Championship had come to an end in a controversial semifinal. Competing in front of his home crowd, the Kazakh had repeatedly pushed his fingers into Punia’s face and grabbed his singlet. Though he had been cautioned and fouled TOKYO, AUGUST 7 TOKYO, AUGUST 7 INSIDE J&J’S SINGLE-SHOT VACCINE CLEARED FOR USE IN INDIA PAGE 7 IPHONES WILL HAVE NEW TOOLS TO FLAG CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE PAGE 10 Aditi missed a podium finish by just a single shot. AP KasumigasekiCountry Clubrustle as the ball rolled over and plonked into the hole. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AND WIN For PV Sindhu, it’s all about erasing the past and living in the moment PAGES 11, 12, 13 | Attempt | Accomplish N E W D I M E N S I O N TO I A S A SP I RA T I ON S www.acubeias.com +91-93190 57600, 93190 57800 78, Bada Bazar Marg, Old Rajendra Nagar, N.Delhi-60 Defeated Kazakh wrestler in freestyle 65 kg category AP bythereferee,thematchairman had disagreed and refused to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Khandra, a village of 2,000, everyone has a Neeraj story ANDREW AMSAN KHANDRA (PANIPAT), AUG 7 A-CUBE IAS Aspire HOW TO FORGET AS THE Czech Jakub Vadlejch’s final throw went awfully wide and landed way off Neeraj Chopra’s mark of 87.58 metres, Khandra, a sketchy village near Panipat, far away from Tokyo, wentdeliriouswithjoy.Frombeing a red balloon on Google Maps, the village transported itself on to the Olympics map. It was the moment under the sun for the village on the PanipatJind border, with a population of barely 2,000 — mostly farmers. The nation’s eyes converged on this speck of land, a thousand Watching Neeraj on the big screen on Saturday. Andrew Amsan cameras panned their eyes, and a million tongues twirled to get the perfect pronunciation. The village witnessed the chaos of a city — at least 20 media vehicles choked the street leading to the giant screen that was showing the Olympics live. Neeraj’s mother Saroj, a woman of few words, said she had never seen such fanfare in the village. Neeraj’s first coach Jaiveer was at the courtyard of Chopras’ newly-built home. Known for his shy demeanour, he made a hasty retreat as the camerapersons sought to turn their attention on him. Neeraj’s uncle Bhim Chopra, whose hands were shivering in nervous excitement during the event, took one for the team. He said,“This istheresultof yearsof sacrifice. We as a family did everything to help him do well in the sport. I am really proud of what our son has done today.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Hope & hunger: Why 7 medals in Tokyo add up to a lot more MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, AUGUST 7 THE OLYMPICS opening parade of nations comes with a crisp synopsis about the sporting identity of each country. For yearsnow, India hassaidhello to theworldwiththeMC parroting thatfamiliarline:"Acountrythat has won eight hockey golds". That the last one was in 1980 is an embarrassing rider left unsaid. Subsequently, India has got Olympics medals in shooting, wrestling, badminton but it hasn’t excelled in any of the Olympics mother sports: athletics, swimming, gymnastics. That changed Saturday. Neeraj Chopra's javelin gold made sure India will leave Tokyo with a recordmedalhaul–the onegold,twosilverand fourbronzeovertaking the previous-best tally of six at the London Olympics. But then seven is just one more than six. What’s history-making is that never ever, since the Dhyan Chand era, has India dominated an Olympics discipline the way 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra did on Saturday. For India, Tokyo 2020's biggest takeaway came onSaturday–thegoldinamainstream mass-sport. Each one of the TokyoSeven,andsome who came within touching distance of a medal, has a unique story but a common ● threadrunsthroughall. The Class of 2021 is far too different from past athletes for whom just being at the Olympics was the destination – thisbunchisevenpickyaboutthe colour of the medal. E EXPLAINED 87.58 m, a billion hearts, first athletics medal: Neeraj Chopra makes history CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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