History-making Indian Olympic contingent returns from Tokyo

India's last batch of athletes from the Tokyo Olympics returned to the country on Monday. The athletes, including Neeraj Chopra, were received enthusiastically by officials even as a frenzied crowd gathered outside the airport.

India's Olympic athletes land in New Delhi on Monday (Twitter/SAI)

India’s Olympic contingent, including history-making javelin throw gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra, returned to the country on Monday and was received enthusiastically by officials even as a frenzied crowd gathered outside the airport to welcome the heroes of the country’s best ever Games campaign. The athletes were welcomed by a Sports Authority of India delegation headed by its Director General Sandeep Pradhan. Athletics Federation of India head Adille Sumariwala also accompanied him. The athletes were garlanded and presented with bouquets on arrival and were applauded by the airport staff as they made their way out to utter chaos due to the huge presence of supporters and media personnel.

India surpassed their previous best haul of six medals achieved in the 2012 London Games with one gold, two silver and four bronze medals in Tokyo. While Chopra added the golden sheen to the campaign, the silver medals came from weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya. The bronze medals were claimed by boxer Lovlina Borgohain, shuttler P V Sindhu, the men’s hockey team and wrestler Bajrang Punia.

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The last batch of India's Olympic athletes returned from Tokyo on Monday.

23:10 (IST)09 Aug 2021
The felicitation ceremony
22:32 (IST)09 Aug 2021
'This medal is for the entire country'

“I knew I had done something special, actually I thought I had achieved my personal best. The throw had gone really well,” Neeraj Chopra said, referring to the 88.07m he achieved earlier this year.

“The next day my body felt how special it was with all the pain but it was worth it,” he quipped. “This medal is for the entire country.”

21:34 (IST)09 Aug 2021
'India's resurgence in sports visible now'

Minister Anurag Thakur lauded some close finishes including the fourth place finish by golfer Aditi Ashok. Thakur's predecessor Rijiju praised the performances of all the athletes and reiterated that India will be a force to reckon with by the 2028 Olympics.

"This is just the beginning because India's resurgence in sport is visible now and I am confident that by 2028 Olympics India will be a force to reckon with," Rijiju mentioned.

21:01 (IST)09 Aug 2021
My body was in pain day after Olympic gold but it was worth it: Neeraj Chopra

Olympic gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra on Monday revealed that he was in pain after his epoch-making performance in the Tokyo Games but it was all worth it given the historic result he had achieved.

At a felicitation ceremony by the government to honour the seven medal-winning performances at the Games after their arrival this evening, the javelin thrower said he knew he had done something special with the second attempt of 87.58m in the finals that fetched him the gold.

'I knew I had done something special, actually I thought I had achieved my personal best. The throw had gone really well,' Chopra said. 'The next day my body felt how special it was with all the pain but it was worth it,' he quipped. 'This medal is for the entire country.'

20:27 (IST)09 Aug 2021
'An Olympic Games of many firsts for India'

Among those present on the occasion to felicitate the medal winners also included Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, Secretary (Sports) Ravi Mittal and Director-General of Sports Authority of India Sandip Pradhan. "Tokyo 2020 was an Olympic Games of many firsts for India. The success of Team India at the Olympics is a reflection of how New India desires and aspires to dominate the world, even in sports," Thakur said.

20:25 (IST)09 Aug 2021
Felicitation ceremony in New Delhi

Gold medal winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was the cynosure of all eyes in the ceremony at a five star hotel in Delhi, held a couple of hours after the seven podium finishers made their way out of the airport amid utter chaos. At the felicitation ceremony, they were presented mementos and shawls by the minister. 

"I am very happy to be back home. I knew India is very happy but after coming back here, to get this love first hand, it feels really nice. I would try to do my best for more such medals," Borgohain said. 

"I only tried to give my best," said Punia, who fought through his semifinals without any protective gear on his injured knee.

20:21 (IST)09 Aug 2021
Bajrang Punia's message
19:55 (IST)09 Aug 2021
The felicitation ceremony
19:37 (IST)09 Aug 2021
Global Indian Int'l School announces scholarship for Tokyo olympians' children

Singapore-based Global Indian International School (GIIS) announced on Monday a special scholarship for the children of Indian sportspersons who represented their country at the recently-concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo.

It will be offered to children of any member of Indian Olympic contingent - including the 7 medal winners as well as those who represented India in the games that concluded on Sunday. 

"India has done extremely well in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and our scholarships are a way of thanking the athletes and sportsmen who gave their sweat for the country," said Atul Temurnikar, Chairman of Global Schools Foundation which runs GIIS.

18:46 (IST)09 Aug 2021
Hockey team touches down
18:00 (IST)09 Aug 2021
'First time we are seeing a reception like this'

The athletes have been taken in buses to the felicitation function by sports minister Anurag Thakur later this evening. "It is the first time we are seeing a reception like this, it is very heartening," said race walker K T Irfan, who competed in the 20km race walk event.

17:42 (IST)09 Aug 2021
UAE based NRI entrepreneur announces Rs 1 crore reward for Sreejesh

A non-resident Indian healthcare entrepreneur based in the United Arab Emirates on Monday announced a Rs one crore cash reward for the Indian men's hockey team goalkeeper P R Sreejesh. The announcement by Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil comes days after the Indian men's team won the bronze medal at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.

17:38 (IST)09 Aug 2021
Athletics team returns

India had sent a 228-strong contingent for the Games, including more than 120 athletes. This was the country's biggest ever presence at the quadrennial showpiece which took place after a delay of one year due to the pandemic.

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