Tokyo Olympics: India’s golden boy Neeraj Chopra still can’t believe he has won gold, says ‘I thought I was living in a dream’

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra says Joining national camp was turning point in my career
Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra says Joining national camp was turning point in my career

Tokyo Olympics: Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Tuesday revealed that joining the national camp was a turning point in his sports career.

Tokyo Olympics: 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).

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“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.

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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 also thanked everyone who supported him during his training for the Tokyo Olympics.

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“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

Postponement of Tokyo Olympics helped me work on weakness and increase strength

Despite undergoing a surgery on his throwing arm in 2019, Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra revealed on Tuesday that he was “fit and ready” for the showpiece event to be held in 2020. The Indian javelin thrower went on to add that the delay due to the coronavirus pandemic helped him work further on his weakness and come out all guns blazing at the just concluded Tokyo Olympics.

“I was fit and ready for the Tokyo Olympics when I qualified for it in January 2020. 2019 was a bit rough but in 2020 I was fully fit for the Games,” Neeraj told ANI. “I took the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics positively as I thought I have got one more year for training. In that one year, I worked on my weaknesses like improving some techniques and gaining strength,” he added.

The Indian athlete said his focus remained on his training despite the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the stringent protocols that was put in place. “Current times are far from normal but everyone has to go through it (COVID-19 tests) so I feel it has now become a part of our life. Focus remains on training but need to follow all precautions,” said Neeraj.

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. Asked if his performance during qualification boosted his confidence further as he qualified with his first throw itself, the athlete said one cannot take things for granted in sports.

“Every day is different, as sometimes an athlete who doesn’t throw well in qualifying rounds, does well in the final. In the final everyone gives 100 per cent. I just had in mind that I would give my best and I did,” Neeraj affirmed.

Neeraj Chopra arrived back to a thunderous and grand welcome on Monday. Upon arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here in New Delhi, the javelin thrower was swamped by supporters. The star athlete said hewants to express gratitude towards his fans as soon as he reaches his home.

“I’ll go home and meet every person in my village who was cheering for me during my performance at Games. I will thank everyone for their support,” Neeraj signed off

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