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OpinionsNiraj Chopra - A sporting Icon doing the Nation proud

Niraj Chopra – A sporting Icon doing the Nation proud


By Tirthankar Mitra

By no stretch of imagination, is replete with much good news. Of course, the landing on the moon of a Indian spaceship did the nation proud, but there is a huge distance between the scene of this triumph of Indian science and the masses.

The success of Niraj Chopra in the World Championship is much nearer home. This week he added it to his Olympic title. Thereby, Chopra completed a rare double for Indian athletes. The country is not quite bereft of sporting talents in events but is certainly starved of fruition of athletic prowess in such jousts.

It is for this reason that the young man from emerged as a golden boy. A silent prayer would be sent up by many who cannot claim even a nodding acquaintance with him when he attempts his second Olympic gold in Paris next year. Chopra is inarguably India's greatest javelin thrower. He seems to throw further and further away smashing previous records en route.

Indeed it would be no exaggeration to say that the country will hold its collective breath watching him as he tries to better his throw next year at the French capital. India is no short of sporting legends from Sunil Gavaskar to Kapil Dev Nikhanj and not to forget Sachin Tendulkar whom Sir Donald Bradman feted at his home.

And of course, there was the hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, whose game mesmerised the crowd at Berlin Olympics and did not leave one of the spectators, Adolf Hitler, bemused at the sporting skill of whom the man then presiding over fate of the German people considered to be a member of a lesser race. Renowned footballer Sailen Manna after having played barefoot in England had his legs closely examined.

But all these greats were part of one team game or the other. Their success, more often than not owed no less to their team mates' skill and each was part of a shared glory. It is at this point Chopra shines. It is a solitary splendour that he is basking in. Not yet 24, Chopra ‘s magnificent performance is at a global event of track and field. Indeed he has achieved what was unthinkable a decade ago.

Here is a man who struck a perfect balance between being a celebrity and a then tracing his steps back to his monkish dedication as an athlete. He is only too aware that he has many more peaks to scale, nay conquer.

Chopra is at ease endorsing brands and cutting ribbons at events. But there is no unease as he shuts out all distractions, undergoing the rigours of conditioning and staying abroad when it is time for big tournaments.

There is a single goal before Chopra then. He strains every muscle and nerve to deliver better than the rest of the field. Paris Olympics beckon, but with his ability Chopra is ready. He has been a true professional taking pressure that comes with the turf. New challenges will come Chopra's way. But given his body of works, he can be trusted to overcome them. (IPA Service)

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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