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Neeraj Chopra: The Gold is for All Indians, It Stands for Fearlessness

Tokyo Olympics javelin gold medallist Neeraj Chopra landed at the New Delhi airport Monday evening.
Neeraj Chopra back in India

Neeraj Chopra being mobbed by fans as he came out of the New Delhi airport on Monday (Pic: Khaleej Times, Twitter).

Olympic gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra reached India Monday evening to a rapturous welcome in New Delhi. Unsurprisingly, his busy schedule began on cue, with facilications, media duties taking over, banishing any hope of rest to fight off the jet lag, in case he had that in mind.

India’s first ever athletics gold medallist’s itinerary is probably not in his hands from now on. Chopra can handle all the commitments with ease, one is sure. It, discomforting as it is for the champion who would rather get back to training, pales in comparison to the magnitude of the physical and mental feat he achieved at the Olympics javelin final. He revealed he was in pain after his historic performance in the Tokyo Games.

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At a felicitation ceremony by the government to honour the seven medal-winning performances at the Games after their arrival Monday 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 added.

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"This medal is for the entire country," he reiterated. Well, the whole country is celebrating it. Every Indian knows it, surely.

The 23-year-old Army man said the only message he has for the country's sportspersons right now is never fear.

"I just want to say, no matter who the opposition is, give your best. That is all you need to do and this is what this gold medal stands for. Never fear the opposition," he said.

(With additions from PTI)

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