• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Neeraj Chopra an inspiration for Kishore Jena, the javelin prodigy from Odisha

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra on Sunday made history as he became the first Indian to win a Gold Medal in the World Athletics Championships with a throw of 88.17m in the men’s javelin final in Budapest.

The 25-year-old Chopra achieved his best throw in his second attempt. With this, Neeraj became only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to simultaneously hold the Olympics and World Championships title.

Interestingly, the ace javelin thrower and the state of Odisha have a special connection not known to many. Neeraj won the Gold Medal at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, held at the iconic Kalinga Stadium. He clinched the Gold Medal with a throw of 85.23m. Post that, he also trained in Odisha between December 2020 to February 2021, as part of his preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He trained under the guidance of coaches Uew Hohn and Dr. Klaus and went on to bag a historic gold. During his training period in Odisha, the 25-year-old javelin thrower along with other Olympic bound elite athletes also visited the Eco Retreat in Konark for a glamping experience featuring luxury, adventure, local culture, mouth-watering Odia cuisine, folk music and dance, the USP of the eco retreat.

During the time of his training in Odisha, Neeraj was provided with state-of-the-art facility, the world-class infrastructure and the sports science centre at the Kalinga Sports Complex to help improve his performance.

Neeraj has inspired a generation of youngsters and it comes as no surprise that Odisha’s Kishore Jena is among them. Kishore, who became the first from Odisha to represent India at the Finals of the World Athletics Championship in Budapest looks up to Neeraj and is following his footsteps. Kishore finished fifth at the World Athletics Championship with a throw of 84.77m. He was applauded by the Sports fraternity including the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for becoming the first from the state to represent India at the Finals of the World Athletics Championship in Budapest.

Talking about Neeraj’s accomplishments over the years, Tusharkanti Behera, Odisha’s Sports Minister, said, “We would like to congratulate Neeraj Chopra on his incredible journey over the past few years. He has been a role model for so many and we hope that he reciprocates the same when he represents India at the Olympics next year. Our best wishes are with you and Odisha is always there to support you.”

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