Reigning Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings honoured Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra with the previously announced sum of INR 1 crore for his record achievement at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. Neeraj had bagged a gold in the javelin throw event to end India's century-long wait for an Olympic medal in athletics. His medal also helped India complete their best-ever medals tally at a single Olympics.
Other than the announced prize, the IPL franchise presented Neeraj with a special jersey with the figures 8758 written on it. The figures are indicative of the 87.58m throw that fetched Neeraj and India gold at the world's biggest sporting festival in the Japanese capital. Neeraj became only the second individual gold medalist at the Olympics after Abhinav Bindra had claimed the gold in 2008.
Neeraj Chopra has set a benchmark and is an inspiration: Viswanathan
Talking about Chopra's stellar achievement, CSK CEO KS Viswanathan said how the entire country is proud of Neeraj and the importance of the number 87.58.
"The entire nation is proud of Neeraj for his stupendous achievement. By becoming the first Indian to win a medal (gold) in the track and field, he has set a benchmark and is an inspiration for the next generation. 87.58 is a number that will forever be etched in Indian sporting history and it’s an honour for us to present this special jersey to Neeraj. We wish he brings more glory to the nation," Viswanathan was quoted as saying in an official release.
Thank you so much for your support and for the prize: Chopra
Meanwhile, Chopra also expressed his gratitude to the MS Dhoni-led franchise for their gesture and said that he had not imagined he would be getting so much love for his performance.
"Thank you so much for your support and for the prize. It feels good. The last two months have been hectic and an opportunity to experience new things. I never thought that I'll get so much love after winning gold. It was completely unexpected and it feels good. Hopefully I'll work hard and get good results," Chopra said.
Meanwhile, earlier Chopra had taken to social media to inform that his training has resumed post the gold medal and he is now looking to focus on the Commonwealth Games as well as the Asian Games next year.