Subedar Neeraj Chopra Trained To Fight Different Battle: Army Official

Subedar Neeraj Chopra Trained To Fight Different Battle: Army Official

Neeraj Chopra won gold in javelin at the Tokyo Olympics

Neeraj Chopra, who won gold at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics and holds the rank of a Subedar in the Indian Army, has been trained to fight a different battle, said an official of the Indian Army’s Mission Olympics Wing.

“He is a soldier, but not a soldier who has been trained to fight. He is fighting a different battle,” the official said.

Talking about Neeraj Chopra’s selection to the Army, the official said Subedar Kashinath, who bagged a bronze medal at Commonwealth Games in 2010, discovered the javelin prodigy.

“Subedar Kashinath reported that there is a boy who is throwing over 80 metres. We then reported it to Army Sports Institute (ASI). In January 2016, we approached him and told him about the ASI, and that we will take him in a rank. Normally, the Army doesn’t tend to take. This is how he was taken into the rank of Naik Subedar. It was after his enrollment in the Army in August 2016 that he shot to fame by breaking the junior world record,” he said.

Asked about the credit of Neeraj Chopra’s success, the Mission Olympics wing official said it is a team effort involving Federations, Sports Authority of India, and where the Indian Army worked silently.

“In Neeraj Chopra’s case, there was a good amount of foreign exposure and foreign training. I think his sponsors, Sports Authority of India and others have done a credible job. The Army worked silently and has been supporting him constantly,” the official added.

16 athletes from the Army represented the Indian contingent in Tokyo Olympics. Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav participated in the Archery event and Irfan KT, Sandeep Kumar, Rahul, Gurpreet Singh, sable Avinash, Neeraj Chopra, Arokia Rajiv were part of the Athletics contingent.

In the boxing contingent, Satish Kumar, Subedar Amit Pangel, Satish Kumar participated in the Games.

Deepak Punia participated in Wrestling and Vishnu Saravanan in sailing. In the field of Rowing, Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat were from Mission Olympics.

Over 400 potential athletes are training under the Mission Olympics initiative of the Indian army for the upcoming events.

Indian Army Mission Olympics officials also hinted towards inducting women in the initiative and said seven female boxers have been identified.

“We have started scouting for talent. We will send them to ASI,” the officials said.

The next target of the Mission Olympics will be Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year.

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