August 2018 \ Cover Story \ Cover Story: Asian Games in Jakarta

There is something primordial about a man...

  • The impressive opening ceremony of the Jakarta Asian Games

Sipra Das in Jakarta

There is something primordial about a man, long locks of hair swaying in the wind, running in and leaping to hurl a javelin, much a like guided spear, high into the air, and far into the distance, with all the strength in his body. It is as though an ancient hunter, looking for an invisible prey, is going at full throttle. This visual treat gets even more athletically romantic if the end result is a gold medal—which in this case happened to be at the Jakarta Asian Games 2018. Meet Neeraj Chopra, 20, India’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Games, and the gold medal winner in javelin. By hurling the slender metal shaft to a distance of 88.06 metres, Chopra broke his own national record. Like a true champion he reserved his best for the moment that mattered the most. This phenomenal power throw would have easily fetched him a bronze at the Rio Olympic Games of 2016. Considering that he is just 20 and perhaps still gaining strength, he can indeed go very far in the world of javelin. Chopra hails from Panipat, a city 90 km to the north of Delhi that was the venue of three epic battles over the last about 500 years. No wonder he turns the field of competition into a battlefield.

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