Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra was unable to find his javelin just before his first throw in the finals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. He found it in the hands of Pakistani athlete Arshad Nadeem who had walked away with it.
“The story is that I was searching for my javelin at the start of the final. I was not able to find it. Suddenly I saw Arshad Nadeem was moving around with my javelin. Then I told him, ‘Bhai give this javelin to me, it is my javelin! I have to throw with it’. Then he gave it back to me,” Neeraj Chopra told the Times of India (TOI) in an interview.
Neeraj also said, “That’s why you must have seen I took my first throw hurriedly! Arshad Nadeem gave a really good performance in the qualifying round as well as the final. I think it is good for Pakistan, they have a chance to show more interest in the javelin and do well at the international stage in the future.”
As Neeraj has expressed himself in the interview, he had been attending functions and events since his return from the Tokyo Olympics and had also fallen ill during this period.
“I had a fever. I used to be drenched in sweat while attending functions and then I used to get into air-conditioned cars. I wasn’t getting any rest and I wasn’t eating properly because of the busy routine,” Neeraj told TOI.
The 23-year-old further insisted that these things need to change. “Aisa nahin hona chahiye ki ab medal aa gaya toh sab abhi kar do, aur phir ek mahiney baad sab shaant ho jao” which translates to, “it shouldn’t be as if we have to complete every celebration immediately because an Olympic gold medal has come, and then forget about it after a month. The sport needs continuous attention”.