Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia who has been a part of the National Sports Committee, on Tuesday said that Tokyo Olympics Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra deserves the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year. The young javelin thrower is one of the top contenders for the award this year as he won India’s first Olympics medal in Athletics.
Chopra was up against some of the best javelin throwers in the world but he was the most consistent among them. He hurled the javelin a fair distance and took the early lead but when others got close, Neeraj Chopra hurled the javelin for a distance of 87.58m and that sealed the elusive gold medal for the Indian superstar. He immediately became an international sensation, a role model for Indian youth to follow. India celebrated the last days of the Tokyo Olympics with bright smiles as Chopra brought home the historic Gold medal in Athletics. The youngster has been felicitated by the government of India. he even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has turned into India’s new poster boy. His achievement at the Summer Games in javelin and athletics, in general, will open up avenues for other youngsters in future to flourish at the big stage.
“This time the committee will have to face a challenge because there are many players who are deserving for awards, not this time, every time the election committee faces challenges. But this time task will be harder as we have a lot of medallists and in my opinion, the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award will go to Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra as he brought India its first gold in track and field events at the Olympics,” Bhutia told ANI.
Bhutia then went on to laud Sports Minister Anurag Thakur as he talked about SAI’s 55th Governing Body Meeting. Bhutia said: “It was a very good meeting and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has good knowledge about sports. The meeting was very productive. We discussed many points in the meeting and we will also focus on how to develop a sports culture in the country and look to develop more coaches at the grassroots level, we discussed we have to look after and manage our grounds, not stadiums because grounds produce many sportspeople and we also need to ensure that we appoint more officers who are responsible for scouting talent from small places of the country.”