18 Year Old Neeraj Chopra Becomes The 1st Indian Athlete To Win A Gold At World Championship
2016-07-28 12:50 by Istvan Harsanyi
An 18-year-old boy from Khandra Village in Haryana made history as he became the first ever Indian athlete to become a world champion at any level.
Neeraj Chopra bagged the gold medal in javelin throw at the U-20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Saturday evening – the biggest feat for an Indian athlete as of yet.
Chopra, who threw the javelin at an incredible distance of 86.48m, not only set a new national record but also outdid his own previous record of 82.23 set at the South Asian Games.
Elated by the success, Chopra said he owed everything to the handwork he has put in:
“WHEN THE SPEAR LEFT MY HAND ON THAT SECOND THROW, I HAD A FEELING THAT THIS WAS A SPECIAL THROW. I DON’T THINK I EXPECTED IT TO GO OVER 86 METERS BUT SINCE THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, I HAVE WORKED HARD ON MY FITNESS, MY TECHNIQUE AND IT ALL PAID OFF TODAY.”
Chopra, who has passed defending Olympic Gold medalist, Keshorn Walcott’ record as well, missed out on Rio Olympics qualifier because the last day to meet the standard was July 11 and he had a back injury.
However, nothing sour the joy of glory from Chopra and he said:
“WHEN THE NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYED IT WAS A HUGE MOMENT FOR ME. IT WAS PERHAPS EVEN BIGGER THAN WINNING A GOLD. IT IS A SPECIAL FEELING TO HAVE YOUR COUNTRIES NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYING AT A WORLD LEVEL. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.”
As an adulation to his incredible feat, Sports Minister Vijay Goel announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to the athlete.
The Prime Minister himself congratulated Chopra on his success over twitter along with other eminent personalities of the sports world!
Considering his phenomenal achievement, efforts are being made to send Chopra to the Rio Olympics, 2016 as a Wild Card Entry.
Hope this young gun blazes on for a long time to come!
News Source: Indian Express and Debanjan Dhar @ Storypick