Neeraj Chopra has become a darling of the country after bagging gold in the javelin throw event of the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old became only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to claim a podium finish in Olympics. The win made every Indian jump with joy and social media was flooded with congratulatory messages for Neeraj. In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Chopra said he is extremely happy to win a medal for the country. This was India’s first medal in athletics in over 100 years and the first athletic gold ever.
It was the first time that the Indian national anthem was played at a track and field stadium during the Olympics and hearing it gave goosebumps to every Indian. Neeraj added that listening to the national anthem was a special feeling that cannot be described in words.
“It was a different feeling, our national anthem was playing at the Olympic stadium. I can’t express those feelings in words. I couldn’t sleep that well after reaching Tokyo. We had come from Sweden and there was a big time difference. First couple of days, I found it very difficult to sleep. But no problem, now I have the medal,” India’s Tokyo Olympics hero told NDTV.
Neeraj revealed he had been facing issues in sleeping due to the time difference but was able to sleep yesterday with the medal by his side.
“I slept with the medal kept near my pillow. I was very happy but was also quite tired, so got good sleep,” he added
Neeraj’s best shot came in his second attempt when he threw the javelin at a distance of 87.58m, bettering his 87.03m in the first attempt. Neeraj revealed he was sure he would get a medal but he wanted to settle for nothing less than gold.
“After my first two throws, I was confident that I would get a medal but my target was gold and for that I gave my 100 per cent. Before my last my throw, I knew I had won the gold because I was the last to throw. After that it was completely different feeling.”