New Delhi: Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra has created history in the Tokyo Olympics. He got India the Olympic Gold Medal in Athletics after a long wait of more than a century. In the final of Javelin Throw, he threw the javelin for a distance of 87.58.
Exclusive conversation with Zee News
Soon after the Gold Medal in the Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra has given an exclusive interview to Zee News. Our reporter Kiran Chopra had a special conversation with the ‘Golden Boy’ of India, in which many secrets have come to the fore. Let us know what Neeraj said.
Kiran Chopra: Many many congratulations Neeraj, many many congratulations and many thanks for joining us, first of all you have made us proud. The whole country is proud of you, thank you very much for that, has that feeling come that no athlete has been able to achieve what you have achieved till date. Have you won medals in athletics and that too gold?
Neeraj Chopra: Still it seems that I don’t know whether it has happened in the right or… Somewhere I am not dreaming, but I will show you this medal, it is nearby.
Kiran Chopra: Zoom a little and show our audience the gold medal, which everyone wants to see, which the whole country is proud of.
(Neeraj Chopra shows his medal in front of the camera)
Kiran Chopra: That moment was very emotional for all of us, I am sure many people have cried seeing that moment, then to whom would you like to dedicate this medal, after so much hard work you have achieved it. Who is that special person to whom you want to dedicate this medal?
Neeraj Chopra: I think those who were our athletes, those who remained in the fourth position, whose medals kept on coming, like Milkha Singh ji, PT Usha ji and many more. Especially Milkha Singh had a dream that someone should bring medals in athletics, some win gold and play his national anthem. So today his dream has come true, but he is not with us today. It is sad that he is not with us, but wherever he is, he must be very happy to see us.
Kiran Chopra: You have come to know what is the atmosphere in your village, how they are celebrating like a festival there. Could talk to parents, talk to anyone in the family?
Neeraj Chopra: I have not been able to talk to anyone yet, I have come now, there were media people in the stadium, so I have not spoken to them yet.
Kiran Chopra: What was going through your mind when you were about to leave for this event? You were playing the first Olympics and playing the first Olympic final that too coming number one in the qualifying round, was there any pressure or was there any confidence that you would definitely win?
Neeraj Chopra: It was coming in my mind that it was a big day and was ready, worked hard and threw well in the qualifying round which gave confidence that the result will be good in the final. It was very good and the body was also feeling good. So it seemed that something good was going to happen today.
Kiran Chopra: Neeraj will talk about the throw of 87.58, which got you this gold medal, at that time the big contender for the gold medal, the waiter (Johannes Vetter) was fouling. At the time of that throw, when you saw that this score had come, what was going on in your mind, then it seemed that I have made the throw which will now ensure me the gold medal?
Neeraj Chopra: To tell the truth, there was a strange feeling that he was such a big athlete and how big a thrower he was, he got out of the best state, it felt strange, but then I looked at myself, this is sports and it all goes on Is. It felt bad for him but then I tried to do better with my throw.
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Kiran Chopra: Neeraj you are the biggest hero of the country and the whole nation wants to hear about you, what Neeraj likes and dislikes. What is one thing that you love and want to do?
Neeraj Chopra: Would love to visit such a place, or a country that is famous.
Kiran Chopra: The biggest goal of an athlete is to win the gold medal, for that every player has to make sacrifices. What is such a sacrifice, which now seems to have to be done after winning the gold medal?
Neeraj Chopra: The biggest sacrifice is to stay away from your family members. If a player works hard for 10-15 years, then most of the time he stays away from the family. So first I will go home and have dinner with family. After that I will start preparing for the next competition. So the biggest sacrifice is that we are not able to live with the family members who support us so much. Can not go to weddings and parties, because the athlete has to leave all these things. The more important training is, the more important is diet and equally important is rest. All these things together make a good athlete.
Kiran Chopra: What is the secret of your success that brought you to the gold medal?
Neeraj Chopra: I just think that somewhere our mind says that we will not be able to win this, it is a very difficult competition, our opposition players are performing very well, they have more talent than me, so according to me I should never think like this, let me tell you that there were better players than me, there were world champions and there were Olympic gold medalists, but it is a matter of day to day, it was my day, so today I have got gold. So we should give our hundred percent and never think like this, never panic.
Kiran Chopra: Your long talk and your hairstyle are quite famous, but when you came to Tokyo, you brought a new hairstyle, what is the story behind it?
Neeraj Chopra: In the last 3-4 competitions I played, my hair was troubling me a lot, I used to sweat a lot, used to fall in my eyes, I also had to take care of them, so it seemed that they were causing some trouble during the throw. Huh. So I felt that he was having trouble in his sports career, so I got him cut. First there is sports and then this look and so on.