The gold standard: Neeraj Chopra adds world title to his kitty - The Tribune India

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The gold standard

Neeraj Chopra adds world title to his kitty

The gold standard

Neeraj Chopra. File photo



TWO years ago, when Neeraj Chopra scripted history by becoming the first Indian Olympic track and field gold medallist, it seemed that he had done enough to rest on his laurels for a lifetime. In a sporting success-starved country like India, the fame, adulation and money that Neeraj received after his Tokyo triumph in 2021 could have easily gone to his head. But the young man retained his focus amid all the distractions and has now become the first Indian to win a gold medal in the World Athletics Championships.

The 25-year-old’s victory in Budapest, where he withstood a tough fight from Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, has made him the firm favourite to clinch the yellow metal in the 2024 Paris Olympics. It’s only a matter of time before he crosses the 90-metre mark, which has tantalisingly eluded him so far. Despite having an overcrowded trophy cabinet — which has the Asian, Commonwealth, Olympic and world titles — Neeraj has the humility to say that he will never call himself the greatest Indian track and field athlete of all time. He is undoubtedly a huge role model for India’s young generation. The fact that his compatriots Kishore Jena and DP Manu finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the World Championships shows that India has emerged as a powerhouse in men’s javelin throw. Notably, Neeraj is a source of inspiration not only for fellow javelin throwers but for all sportspersons across the country.

Even as Neeraj has again become the toast of the nation, the men’s 4x400m relay team deserves a big pat on the back for shattering the Asian record. The quartet of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal Variyathodi and Rajesh Ramesh defied injuries and an erratic form to finish fifth in the world event. These are good tidings for Indian athletics a year ahead of the Olympics.

#Javelin Throw #Neeraj Chopra


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