Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla on Saturday congratulated Neeraj Chopra for winning the gold medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
The 23-year-old created history as he became the first from the country to win a gold in track and field in the Olympics. He threw a distance of 87.58m to pick the gold. "Today is truly a momentous day for Indian Athletics! My heartiest congratulations to Neeraj, coach Dr Klause and the entire support team of, doctors, physios, nutritionists and sports science specialists," Sumariwalla said in a statement.
"Ever since I assumed the position of President of the Athletics Federation of India in 2012, my single-minded focus has been on raising the standard of track and field performances in India, providing opportunities at grassroots level to as wide a base of potential athletes as possible and bringing India her first Olympic medal in Athletics.
"My entire team at the Athletics Federation of India along with Dr Lalit Bhanot and I, with the support of the Sports Authority of India and the Dept of Sports, GOI, have worked tirelessly and consistently towards this goal.
"This medal brings with it a day of great jubilation and pride for me personally, for the Athletics Federation of India, for Indian Sport, and of course, for Neeraj and his family," he added.
The AFI chief said he couldn't have asked for a greater reward than to see an Indian athlete stand on the Olympic podium for the "very first time".
"Since the age of eighteen, Athletics has been my life's focus -- as an Olympian athlete myself, as a coach who has trained an Olympian and as a sports administrator, both nationally and internationally," he said.
"I could not have asked for a greater reward than to see an Indian Athlete stand on the Olympic podium for the very first time! Congratulations TEAM INDIA, thank you for your tireless efforts. This is just the beginning of better things to come," added Sumariwalla.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Rajeev Mehta congratulated all the Indian athletes who won medals in the Tokyo Games.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra became the first track and field athlete from the country to win a gold at the showpiece event. He threw the javelin to a distance of 87.58m at the Olympics to pick up the gold medal. With Neeraj's feat, India won seven medals in the multi-sporting event, its best-ever performance. In the ongoing Tokyo 2020, Mirabai Chanu (silver), Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), PV Sindhu (bronze), men's hockey team ( bronze) and Bajrang Punia (Bronze), have also won medals.
"First of all, please allow me to congratulate each and every one of you for a successful Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Team India's participation in the Olympics couldn't have ended on a sweeter note, with our brave athlete Neeraj Chopra bringing home our first Gold medal in Athletics - Track and Field, first Gold medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games and second Individual Gold medal," Rajeev Mehta said in a statement.
"There was plenty of hope and expectations as India sent its biggest-ever contingent to the delayed Tokyo Olympics.
"And my heart fills with pride to say that the Indian contingent has registered its best-ever performance at an Olympic Games edition -- winning a total of 7 medals, breaking our previous best record from the London 2012 Olympic Games
"This was India's most successful Olympics in terms of the total medal tally, having won a total of 7 medals (1 Gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze)," he added.
The IOA Secretary-General also lauded the athletes who missed out on medals or had a disappointing show in the Tokyo Games.
"Even as several Indian athletes came close to increasing the medal haul, including fourth-ranked Aditi Ashok in Golf, Deepak Punia in Men's Freestyle 86kg in Wrestling and the Women's Hockey team with the fourth-place finish, all our athletes did their exceptional well including the Sailing team, the Archery team, Swimming team, Bhawani Devi in Fencing, Pranati Nayak in Gymnastics, Sushila in Judo, Rowing team, Table Tennis team, Tennis team, Fouaad Mirza in Equestrian, the Boxing team, Badminton team and the Shooting team," said Rajeev Mehta
"Our athletes displayed great sportsmanship and spirited efforts at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This would not have been possible without your support.
"I would like to congratulate all our athletes, their coaches and support staff, the National Sports Federations, GOI and Sports Ministry, our proud sponsors of the Indian Olympic team and the staff for helping Team India etch in the history books - our best-ever medal tally at the Olympic Games. This is only the beginning. We'll be back Stronger Together," he concluded. (ANI)