Neeraj Chopra’s family celebrates his silver medal in Panipat village


It was a big Sunday for family members and loved ones of Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra as he won the silver medal in the men’s javelin throw at the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene, USA.

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj is the first Indian to win a silver medal at the World Championships in Athletics and only the country’s second medalist after Anju Bobby George’s victory in 2003.

Celebrations were held in Khandra village, Panipat district, Haryana, where Neeraj lives with a joint family of 19 members. All the villagers remained glued to their television sets on Sunday when the 24-year-old javelin thrower produced his best performance of 88.13m to finish second.

Shortly after his victory, people gathered at his residence and celebrated the victory. His family members handed out “laddoos” to the guests. The women of the family, who were mostly inside, started dancing.

Neeraj’s father, Satish Kumar, who is a farmer, praised his son for his performance saying, “We are happy with his performance and he will be warmly welcomed when he returns to the village.”

“We were confident in his medal-winning performance because he made history again,” he said. Neeraj’s father added that he expects his son to win medals at the next two Olympics.

He said that the government gives all its support to the sportsmen and that they benefit from such appreciation.

“Not only me, but the whole country is celebrating my son’s achievement. A medal is a medal whether it is gold or silver. Again, I will prepare his favorite dish, choorma, when he returns,” said his mother, Saroj Bala, who was dancing with other women who had gathered at her home.

Neeraj’s uncle, Bhim Chopra, said he was confident he would win his first medal at his first Olympics. Neeraj made history in 2016 when he became the first Indian athlete to win the world championship title by capturing gold at the U-20 World Championships in Poland.

He won gold at the 2016 South Asian Games with a throw of 82.23m and won another gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in 2017 with a throw of 85.23m.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he won a gold medal with his best effort of 86.47m. Again in 2018 he broke the Doha Diamond League national record with a throw of 87.43m.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has praised ‘golden boy’ Neeraj for making history. He said Neeraj is the pride of the country. He became the first Indian player to win a medal at the World Championships in Athletics. Khattar said Neeraj once again brought laurels to the country and to Haryana.


    Neeraj Mohan is a correspondent, covering Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Yamunanagar districts in Haryana.
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