Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Hangzhou [China], October 3 (ANI): The President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Adille Sumariwalla hailed ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, calling him the greatest athlete that India has produced across sporting disciplines.

The 'Golden Boy' will be in the spotlight on the 11th day of the ongoing Asian Games as he is set to compete in the men's finals of the javelin throw event.

A billion hopes are already riding on Neeraj as he bids to take the field to defend the gold in men's javelin from the Jakarta Asian Games.

He became the first and only track and field athlete from the country to win an Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020 and topped the podium at the World Athletics Championships 2023 to become India's first-ever world champion in any athletics event. On the soaring expectations of an aspirational India around the athletes participating in the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games, the AFI president told reporters, "Neeraj Chopra has been the greatest athlete India has ever produced in any sport. No athlete in the history of India or even before independence had performances like him.

So please understand that he is an icon and everybody wants to see him perform."He further went on to praise the Indian athletes for pulling off remarkable performances in different athletics disciplines.

Sumariwalla pointed out that India has already crossed the mark of 19 medals in athletics, with still two days of events to go.

"Absolutely, we had promised to give you medals before we left the shores we promised you that we would give you more medals than last time. We have already given you more medals than last time with two days to go and we are happy that the athletes have performed well. We missed on a few more medals narrowly but it is a part of the game so it is fine. We are at 22 medals, we were 19 in the last Asian games so we have already crossed that benchmark," Sumariwalla added.

India will look to increase their medal tally of 22 with Neeraj spearheading the Indian challenge on Wednesday.

The ace javelin thrower will be in action at 4:30 pm IST. (ANI)

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