The 23-year-old is now only the second Indian to win an individual gold in the Olympics after Abhinav Bindra. He out-performed a star-studded field by quite a distance with his second throw of 87.58m in the finals. The win ended India's 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics.
As the country celebrated, PT Usha who is known as ‘Payyoli Express’ got emotional and tweeted to congratulate Neeraj Chopra. PT Usha wrote, “Realised my unfinished dream today after 37 years. Thank you my son.”
PT Usha had missed an athletic medal by a whisker at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She missed the gold medal in the 400m hurdles by 1/100th of a second, making it the closest-ever miss for an Indian athlete in any competition.
PT Usha ended up fourth behind Romania's Christina Cojocaru, but her heroic effort left a lasting impression and she became a household name.
On Saturday, Neeraj Chopra, a farmer's son from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana, won the country's seventh medal and first gold in this Olympics.
Terming it as a watershed moment in Indian sports history, PT Usha said, “I became emotional just after Neeraj won the gold. It is a historic moment and of course a defining one in our athletics history."
"Today, it was a happy moment and we should enjoy this. I feel this gold will take Indian athletics to another level. We could not give our athletics fans an athletics medal in Olympics. I think we have redeemed ourselves with this gold from Neeraj," Usha said. (with inputs from Agencies)