Neeraj Chopra created history on Saturday as he became the first from the country to win a gold in track and field in the Olympics. He threw the javelin to a distance of 87.58m to pick the gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
“When I was selected for the national camp after national games 2015/16 it was a turning point in my sports career. Before that I used to cook myself, we trained properly but the good facilities I only got after coming to the training camp,” Neeraj said at the felicitation program organised by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
“I used to get motivation seeing my senior athletes. There was a different feeling of training among the best athletes in the countries. I just worked hard and the result is here,” he added.
Neeraj Chopra arrived back home to a thunderous and grand welcome. Upon arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport here in New Delhi, the javelin thrower was swamped by supporters.
The star athlete said he couldn’t believe it when he won the gold medal as the competition in the multi-sporting event was “quite tough”.
“Every athlete dreams of winning a medal in the Olympics, I won gold and I couldn’t believe it as the competition was quite tough and there were many good throwers but I performed well and won gold,” said Neeraj.
“I thought I was living a dream but when I see my medal I realise ‘yes I have won gold in Olympics’. When I came back to India, I realised that I have done something worth getting respect from the people,”
Neeraj Chopra: The making of a champion
Neeraj also thanked everyone who supported him during his training for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I thank AFI, SAI, TOPS, Indian Army and my sponsor JSW sports who helped me every time and due to their contributions are I am here,” said Neeraj.
“I also thank our federation for continuing my camp even during the COVID-19 pandemic and our staff in NIS. Due to their support, my training went smoothly amid the pandemic,” he added.