Would have been nice if Arshad had won a medal too: Neeraj Chopra on Indo-Pak rivalry in Tokyo

Neeraj Chopra has lost count of all the interviews he has done since winning his historic gold medal in athletics Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Maybe 100. But he knows how much sleep he’s been getting since then. 2.5 hours. Apart from his mother’s churma with ghee, he is looking forward to one thing when he comes to India on Monday.

Read also: Neeraj Chopra’s biggest triumph – his own mind

He looks tired in the Zoom interview, but the childish smile never leaves his face. His Golden Javelin, with little regard for the previous stuff, has not only broken a 101 year old record for India, it also announced the country’s arrival at the Gold Standard club.

The 23-year-old won India’s first athletic gold at the Olympics with a throw of 87.58m in her second attempt. He dominated the event and remained on top of the field throughout the finale.

Subedar Neeraj Chopra of Rajputana Rifles has won 1.4 billion Indian hearts. And maybe some Pakistani fans too.

When asked about Arshad Nadeem, the Pakistani javelin star, who finished 5th with a best effort of 84.62m, Neeraj told CNN-News18 that “It would have been nice to have Nadeem on the podium as well. Asia ka naam ho jata.

Read also: Tokyo 2020 becomes India’s best Olympics ever

before the final competition There was Indo-Pak billing as Arshad, a year older than Neeraj, stunned Qualification Group B with a throw of 85.16m, slightly less than Neeraj’s 86.65m in Group A, but still topped his group.

He was the biggest medal hope for Pakistan, but the sports star was not with Arshad in the final. He secured 5th place.

Neeraj was not at all thrilled with the hype surrounding the Indo-Pak match. “Cricket mei chal jata haihandjob 7-8 countries hoti hai, par Olympic mei ye sab karna theek nahi hai (It is okay to compare in cricket where 7-8 countries are participating but not fair in Olympics),” he said.

A day after Neeraj’s historic gold, Indian and Pakistani stars met in the dining hall just before the closing ceremony. He shook hands and showed us why the spirit of sportsmanship is sometimes more important than the game itself.

what are they talking about ? “He greeted me with a big smile. I told him he was looking tagra (strong) in his national dress. He did well and I wish him all the best for the future,” reveals Neeraj.

A conversation that may not defuse the tension on the LoC, but which has struck a chord with the hearts of sports fans on both sides.

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