New Delhi: It was a case of proving who was the strongest and India emerged triumphant, pushing its neighbours China and Pakistan to second and third places respectively.

You must be wondering when and where this happened. Yes, it did happen. At Indonesia last week.

Before you go further, we would like to mention, it was in the sports arena, at the Asian Games 2018.

The competition was javelin throw where distance matters the most.

In the backdrop of the existing diplomatic equations between the three countries, it was an event that attracted major attention with two Indians, two Chinese and one Pakistani in the fray.

In the end, India left all others far behind and achieved glory over its 'hostile' neighbours.

The young man who carried the Indian hopes and took the nation to the top of the podium was Neeraj Chopra. The Haryana athlete hurled the javelin 88.06 metres away — a national record — to claim the gold medal.

China’s Liu Qizhen came up with his personal best of 82.22m, but it was not enough to topple the Indian. Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan was third with 80.75m.

At the presentation ceremony, it was indeed a picture to remember with Chopra flanked by Liu and Nadeem (and standing above his Pakistani and Chinese rivals!).

"I did not realise (at that moment) that I was standing with them. Seeing the tricolour and with the rendering of the national anthem, I was becoming emotional, remembering the struggle and hard work I have done to reach to this stage," Chopra told PTI from Czech Republic, where he is training.

"Sport always teaches us to unite people, to be good towards your competitors. Sport is not meant to show hatred to others," he added.

The Pakistani athlete, after his bronze medal effort, revealed that Chopra was an inspiration for him.

“Neeraj is an amazing talent. I have competed with him about eight times now including the SAFF Championships in India and Asian Junior Championships. But he has a foreign coach and I don’t. His achievements inspire me and my goal is to emulate him one day, may be beat him too,” Nadeem had told PTI after the javelin throw competition in Jakarta.

After seeing a picture of India-Pakistan bonhomie on the podium at the GBK Stadium, ace tennis player Sania Mirza tweeted, "Teaches you sportsmanship, equality, respect and most importantly, humanity! If only some people can learn this from our champion athletes too."

With PTI inputs