Updated: August 19, 2021 9:58:20 am
The nation can’t get enough its second individual gold medallist after shooter Abhinav Bindra. Tokyo Olympics gold medallist in javelin, Neeraj Chopra, only managed to visit his native village Khandra near Panipat on Tuesday days after he won the Olympic gold medal in javelin throw event at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 7. In between he has been meeting fans, attending functions to honour him.
On Wednesday, the 23-year-old was in Chandigarh to meet Haryana CM M L Khattar and Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatraya. He also visited Haryana Police headquarters at Panchkula.
“I could not attend the state-level function on August 13 due to high fever. I got this opportunity today and to talk about javelin throw and athletics with CM as well Governor was special for me. To have made the country proud and Haryana proud was something I always dreamt,” shared Chopra, while talking with The Indian Express after the meetings.
The Khandra village native created history when he won the Olympic gold medal in the javelin throw event in Tokyo earlier this month.
The Olympian had attended the Independence Day function at Red Fort in Delhi on Sunday before being part of the official reception hosted by PM Narendra Modi on Monday.
“I tried and got the success I had worked for. I hope my effort will see athletics getting a lot of priority. After the Olympics gold medal, I am hopeful more and more kids will start javelin throw and athletics and it means good for the sport. Whenever the medallists as well non-medallists are praised and awarded, either by the state or the centre, it always is a motivating thing as a player. PM Narendra Modi talked with each Tokyo participant and support staff…the way our Indian women’s hockey team has been applauded is a matter of special pride of all of us,” said the Olympic champion.
Chopra was accompanied by uncle Bhim Chopra and some representatives from his village, and his initial coach and javelin player Jaiveer Singh was also there. In 2010, a young Chopra had started javelin throw at the Shiva Ji stadium in Panipat under coach Jaiveer Singh.
“My message to all the youngsters, who want to take javelin throw as a career, is that they should start with a lot of concentration and caution. They should practice under a senior player or a coach. Javelin throw is a technical sport and technique is very important in this. I was lucky to have the company of senior as well players of my age groups and coaches,” he said.
After meeting Chopra, CM Khattar said: “Today, I got the opportunity to honour the pride of our nation as well Haryana. Such players will inspire future generations. We have offered Neeraj to lead the centre of excellence in athletics at Panchkula”.
Last week, the Haryana government had announced the setting up of an athletics centre of excellence at Panchkula with Chopra being the head. Chopra said his focus right now is on his game.
“I have not given it a thought yet so I cannot confirm. My focus has been on my game and I am still in early stage of my athletics career. My next target is next year’s world championship as well Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Whenever I will, my focus will be to help raise the standard of sports in Haryana as well India,” said Chopra.
Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatraya presented a shawl and an idol of Tirupati Balaji apart from offering Chopra to taste Haryana’s desi ghee churma. “Winning the Olympic medal, Chopra has done India as well Haryana proud and I offer my congratulations to him, his coach and family. It was his tapasya of 11 years that helped him win the Olympic gold and I wish younger generations will inspire from his record,” shared Dattatraya.
Chopra also met Haryana Police DGP Prashanta Kumar Agrawal accompanied by Pankaj Nain, Haryana director sports.
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