In a country where even the fourth and the fifth finishes at the Olympics are celebrated as a sporting milestone, Neeraj Chopra's gold medal at Tokyo 2020 is a monumental achievement. India had won no medal in athletics for over 100 years and yet when Chopra have them its first, he ensured that it was nothing but gold. In honour of Neeraj's gold-medal winning effort at these games, which are set to be enshrined in history, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has decided to name August 7 as the "Javelin Throw Day".
Not only did Neeraj's javelin flew 87.58 m in that final, with it flew Indian dreams, Indian hopes and Indian sports. Since his record-breaking achievement, the country has been pouring in love for their new global hero. In fact, he gained well over two million followers in less than 24 hours of his gold medal-winning effort. While his Instagram profile had some 100 thousand followers at the time the Men's Javelin throw final at Tokyo 2020, the last event of an Indian athlete at these games, was underway, he now has over 2.2 M followers on his profile.
It's raining awards on Neeraj
The love can also be gauged from the fact that it is raining awards on the golden boy from Haryana. The Haryana government announced an INR 6 crore cash prize and a Class-I government job for the gold medallist soon after his throw at these games. Moreover, he has also been promised land at 50 per cent concession rate anywhere in the state."
Apart from the Haryana government, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also announced another 2 crores to the athlete as his family originally hails from Punjab. That is not all as he has also been awarded a sum of 1 crore by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) who are recognising the efforts of all the medal winners at these games. He is also set to get 1 crore from the Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings for his tremendous achievement.
AFI's bid to name August 7 as Javelin Throw Day is an attempt to attract more youth towards the sport and probably get champions ready for a bright future in athletics ahead.