Precisely a decade in the past, an opportunity encounter between an overweight native boy making an attempt to lose kilos and a younger javelin thrower in the identical medieval Haryana city led to a tectonic occasion of comparable proportions within the historical past of Indian athletics on Saturday: a gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics, the primary ever athletics gold in Olympics and the primary medal in athletics in post-independence India.
That overweight boy was Neeraj Chopra. And the athlete-mentor was Jai Choudhary aka Jaiveer, then an aspiring javelin thrower himself and now a coach on the NIS, Patiala.
At 13, Neeraj, a farmer’s son, weighed greater than 80 kilos. Fattened by dollops of malai (recent cream) and choorma, a calorie-friendly mix of roti, ghee and sugar fed by an adoring granny, he was subjected to bullying by youngsters of his age.
Sensing his discomfort, his uncle, Bhim Chopra, took him to the Panipat Sports activities Stadium gymnasium in 2011 and instructed the trainers there to get Neeraj again into form. Little did the household know that after finishing his gymnasium periods, he would spend hours on the SAI centre in Panipat.
“He used to return to the monitor every single day. Someday I casually requested him, bhala phekega? (Do you wish to strive your hand at javelin?). He nodded. When he threw his first javelin, I checked out my fellow athletes and the primary phrase that got here from my mouth was ‘ye to pure hai’ (He’s a pure expertise),” stated Jaiveer, beneath whom Neeraj began coaching in 2011.