Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday applauded the efforts of javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who with his gold medal win at Tokyo Olympics scripted history.

The 23-year-old became the first track and field athlete from the country to win a gold at the showpiece event. He threw the javelin to a distance of 87.58m in the ongoing mega event to pick up the gold medal.

PM Modi in a phone call congratulated Chopra and highlighted how the javelin thrower had to battle injury during his journey to an Olympic win.

“A big congratulations to you. You have made the whole country proud. Olympic got delayed and you worked a year harder. The coronavirus pandemic also hampered the athletes’ preparation and you got injured as well during preparations.

“But still you displayed a sensational show in the Olympics and this all because of your hard work. ‘Panipat ne Pani dikha diya’, said PM Modi.

In 2019, Neeraj Chopra underwent elbow surgery and his participation in the Tokyo Games looked uncertain. However, it seems the stars were aligned for the athlete as the Games were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The javelin thrower has now won the country a gold medal at the Olympics and enthused people.

PM Modi also recalled how during his interaction with Chopra ahead of the athlete’s departure for Tokyo, the jJavelin thrower was full of confidence.

“When you were going for the Tokyo Olympics, we had a chat and I saw the confidence on your face. You were not under pressure and were in a jovial mood,” PM Modi said.

“You have made the country proud and your win will encourage youths to take up sports. This time all athletes have made their mark in such fields where earlier Indian athletes were not there.

“You are a soldier and you will be able to encourage more youths in sports. Please send my greetings to your mother and father,” the prime minister added.

“This was the most important day of my sports career, and today I gave my 100 per cent and won a medal for my country.”

“I wanted to do well. This was the last event for India. A lot of people supported me and motivated me. And that has helped me succeed,” Neeraj said.

India has now won seven medals in the multi-sporting event, its best-ever performance. In the ongoing Tokyo 2020, Bajrang Punia (Bronze), Mirabai Chanu (silver), PV Sindhu (bronze), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), men’s hockey team (bronze), and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver) have also won medals.

Neeraj Chopra had announced his arrival in style in the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday when he threw a monstrous throw of 86.65m and automatically qualified for the final in his first attempt. (ANI)