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What Prime Minister Modi told Olympic champ Neeraj

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 08, 2021 10:32 IST
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India's Neeraj Chopra reacts after returning from one of his attempts in the Olympics men's Javelin Throw final, at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, on Saturday.

IMAGE: India's Neeraj Chopra reacts after returning from one of his attempts in the Olympics men's Javelin Throw final, at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, on Saturday. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Olympics gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra after the javelin thrower's momentous achievement in the Tokyo Games on Saturday, applauding him for not letting injuries and a break in momentum to come in the way of his performance.

 

The 23-year-old Chopra became India's first track-and-field Olympics medallist with his gold, India's first since shooter Abhina Bindra came out tops in the 2008 Beijing Games.

"Many many congratulations to you; you have brought joy to the country on the last day of competitions for us," Modi said, in a telephonic conversation with the youngster, who is employed with the Indian Army.

An excited Chopra responded by saying, "I wanted to do well, gold jeetna bohot badi baat hai (it's a huge thing to win gold).

"I got support and good wishes from a lot of people."

The Prime Minister then jokingly made a reference to his home town Panipat.

"Panipat ne paani dikha diya," Modi laughed.

"You had to work harder for one year because of the delay in the Olympics and the COVID-19 lockdown. You also battled a shoulder injury (in 2019). You have done wonders despite all these obstacles; it is all hard work," he added.

Chopra acknowledged that the task wasn't easy for him. "Bohot mushkil tha sir (It was difficult)," he said.

Modi spoke about Chopra's confident body language, which was eye-catching during the final but something that the PM noticed before he left for the Games.

"I saw confidence on your face the day I spoke to you," he said.

"I only wanted to give my 100 per cent," responded the champion.

Modi told Chopra that he has inspired a generation of youngsters with his achievements.

"You have inspired the young generation. We have shown good performance in sports where we are not normally good. Sports is essential for the country. It's a moment of honour for your family.

"I will see you on August 15. Many congratulations," PM Modi said.

India finished its Olympics campaign with an unprecedented seven medals, including two silver and four bronze medals.

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