Congratulating Neeraj Chopra on India’s maiden Olympic track and field gold in the Javelin throw at Tokyo Olympics 2020 on August 7, celebrated sprinter PT Usha thanked the star athlete for realising her “unfinished dream after 37 years”.

PT Usha congratulates Neeraj Chopra for dream come true after 37 years

The 57-year-old runner gleefully shared the news of Neeraj Chopra’s monstrous throw of 87.58 metres, which earned India its historic gold at Tokyo, mentioning her unfinished dream for 37 years. Taking to Twitter, PT Usha posted an image of herself with the star athlete and wrote, “Realised my unfinished dream today after 37 years. Thank you, my son, Neeraj Chopra”

Realised my unfinished dream today after 37 years. Thank you my son @Neeraj_chopra1 🇮🇳🥇#Tokyo2020 — P.T. USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) August 7, 2021

The tweet logged more than 40,000 likes and more than 8,000 re-tweets in no time.

PT Usha, fondly known as ‘Payyoli Express’ has been closely nurturing talents at the Usha School of Athletics in Balussery (Kerala) in a bid to produce an Olympic champion. Experts say that she aided the country in realising its potential in athletics when she missed the bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in a 400-metre hurdle by 1/100th of a second. This was marked as the closest-ever miss for an Indian athlete in any competition.

PT Usha won four Asian Games Gold medals in 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, and 4*400m relay at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games, besides winning the 100m and 200m silver at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. She was called the ‘golden girl’ of Indian athletics and an Olympic medal remained her only unfulfilled dream, it seems. Her effort of 55.42 seconds did not suffice to fetch her bronze despite her podium finish at the 1984 Olympics in 400 metres hurdles. She had finished fourth and blamed the disappointment on one of the competitor’s false starts, which according to her had ‘broken her rhythm’.

How Neeraj Chopra made India “shine brighter”

Chopra brought his A-game from the first round itself. In the first round, Neeraj Chopra broke his qualification record with his throw on Saturday in the finals. His first throw was 87.03 m, the second javelin throw was 87.58m, and the third throw was 76.79m. Neeraj Chopra’s second throw moved him to the second round. In the second round, the first two throws from Chopra were foul throws and the final one was around 84 m.

Czech Republic throwers Jakub Vadlejch (86.67m) and Vitezslav Vesely (85.44m) took the silver and bronze respectively.

Chopra came into the final as a medal contender after topping the qualification round on Wednesday with a stunning first-round throw of 86.59m. But only a few would have thought he would bludgeon his way to gold in such a dominant fashion at the grandest of stages.

Not only did he win India’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and ended his nation’s century-long wait of winning a medal in athletics but he also became the second-ever individual athlete to win a gold medal for India at the mega-event. Shooter, Bindra was the first individual athlete who won a gold medal for India. Bindra had won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.