Neeraj Chopra remembered legendary sprinter Milkha Singh, who passed away this year after his fight against coronavirus. Neeraj made history on Saturday becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in an athletics event. He won the men’s javelin throw event with a best distance of 87.58m. He is only the second individual gold medallist for India at the Olympics and quenches India’s long thirst for a medal in a global sport like the athletics.
The country had longed for an athletics medal after near misses from Milkha Singh, PT Usha and Anju Bobby George in the Olympics over the years. Neeraj on Saturday, realised not only his dream but the dream of these veterans as well.
After the win, Neeraj dedicated his gold to Milkha Singh.
“I dedicate this medal to Milkha Singh. I hope he’s watching upon me from wherever he is,” he told the media after winning the gold medal.
“It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good. We have just one gold here in other sports,” the javelin star said. “This is our first Olympic medal for a very long time, and in athletics it is the first time we have gold, so it’s a proud moment for me and my country.”
Asked if he was surprised to win gold which also featured German great Johannes Vetter, he said, “In the qualification round I threw very well so I knew I could do better in the final. (But) I didn’t know it would be gold but I am very happy.”
Neeraj’s father lauded his son’s victory and thanked the Almighty for helping his son achieve the dream.
“My son fulfilled the long-pending dream of the nation. God is very kind to him and our family and blessed him with this victory. He is the pride of the nation,” he said to News18 Haryana.
“We were hoping the gold medal in Rio too but due to technical reasons he couldn’t achieve that time but this time his hard work turns into gold for the country. We are very happy and now, we are waiting for his return,” he added.
Source: News 18