From people trying to mathematically calculate javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s “speed of projectile” to those visiting sports shops selling cricket bats and asking “Bhaiya Javelin Hai (do you sell javelins)”, social media has gone into overdrive following the Tokyo Olympic Games gold medallist’s performance, and it bodes well for the sport in the country.
From the moment Chopra landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on August 9, people started clicking pictures of the ace thrower’s javelin at the arrival lounge, neatly packed in a black bag with “Neeraj Chopra” written prominently on it.
Soon calculations came into play and hundreds of people — mathematicians, bio-mechanics experts and common people — started gauging the speed of the projectile, applying complicated formulae and rules of gravity to reach a conclusive figure to Chopra’s gold medal-winning throw of 87.58 metres.
Someone calculated the velocity of Chopra’s gold medal throw at 105.52 kmph, posting a scribble of the complicated calculations he had done to arrive at the figure. “Minimum velocity by which India’s Gold Medalist Neeraj Chopra threw the Javelin at Tokyo Olympics is 105.52 kmph,” a fan tweeted.
Hundreds of people started discussing the calculations with one of them agreeing that the calculation was spot on and that the only thing needed was to factor in “wind speed, temperature and the density” of the atmosphere at that point in time.
Another fan posted a picture of a sports shop with cricket bats neatly lined up on the shelf, asking “Bhaiya Javelin Hai?”, while another posted an illustration of Chopra’s javelin firmly stuck in the ground resembling a blossoming shoot, and wrote “Neeraj Blossomed! Congratulations.”
Another picture showed the javelin thrower taking a long-shot with a sophisticated camera with the caption, “Nothing, just Neeraj Chopra trying to locate his javelin.”
The best ‘calculation’ though was done by someone who tweeted a sketch of a pencil shaped like a javelin and drew a gold medal, captioning it “History”.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has immortalised the day by announcing August 7 each year as “National Javelin Throw Day” with competitions in all states and union territories to commemorate Chopra’s feat of winning the country’s first athletics gold medal at the Olympic Games.
“Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to!” wrote a fan, and it summed up Chopra’s journey.