Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra played a short match with members of the Indian men’s hockey team on Tuesday in Jalandhar. The star javelin thrower and Manpreet Singh-led hockey contingent — which clinched historic bronze at the Tokyo showpiece — were felicitated at an event at the Lovely Professional University (LPU).
Chopra, who became the first Indian track and field athlete to win an Olympic gold, was awarded Rs 50 lakh and a ‘gold javelin’. Members of the medal-winning hockey team received Rs 85 lakh while bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and paralympics high jump silver medal winner Nishad Kumar were awarded Rs 10 lakh and Rs 25 lakh respectively.
The university also unveiled ‘Neeraj Chopra Marg’ to commemorate the javelin star’s 87.58m throw that fetched him gold in Tokyo.
Post the match, Neeraj also demonstrated javelin throwing technique to the members of the hockey team.
The members of the hockey team included captain Manpreet Singh, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Gurjant Singh, Hardik Singh and Simranjeet Singh.
Fourteen students of the university represented India at Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in wrestling, hockey and athletics and the paralympics.
“It is a proud feeling to come back to one’s alma mater after winning gold at the Olympics. LPU and my faculty have supported me in every way possible way to help me achieve my dream of winning an Olympic gold for India. I am confident that the university will produce many more top-quality sportspersons who will win international laurels for India in the future,” Neeraj said at the event.