‘Didn’t realise was flanked by Chinese and Pakistani’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Sep 2018 14:01:26


 

 

NEW DELHI

IT WAS quite a moment at the Asian Games when Indian gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra stood flanked by a Chinese and a Pakistani on the podium but ask the star javelin thrower about it and he says it didn’t even strike him as he was consumed by the national anthem.


Chopra broke the national record with a throw of 88.06m, while China’s Liu Qizhen (82.22m) and bronze to Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem (80.75m) were distant second and third respectively in Jakarta.


At the medal ceremony, it made for a moment given the often volatile diplomatic dynamics between the three countries.


The picture of Chopra shaking hands with Nadeem on the podium went viral on social media with tennis star Sania Mirza tweeting that it showed why sports is the “best education you can provide your child with.”


“Teaches you sportsmanship, equality, respect and most importantly humanity! If only some people can learn this from our champion athletes too,” she said.


Chopra said during the ceremony, he was only focused on the national anthem.


“I did not realise (at that moment) that I was standing with them. Seeing the tri-colour and with the rendering of the national anthem, I was becoming emotional, remembering the struggle and hard work I have done to reach to this stage,” Chopra told PTI from Czech Republic, where he is training.


The 20-year-old became the first Indian to win a javelin throw gold in the Asian Games, adding another feather to his cap after the top finish at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in a phenomenal season.
He, however, hastened to add that sports should unite people rather than generating “hatred”.


“Sports always teaches us to unite people, to be good towards your competitors. Sports is not meant to show hatred to others,” he said.