The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) felicitated Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra at the Wankhede Stadium before Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2022 season opener on Saturday. The javelin thrower got a reward of INR 1 crore from the apex cricket council of India.
In the small felicitation ceremony held at the Wankhede Stadium, BCCI also awarded boxer Lovlia Borgohain, the bronze medalist in Tokyo Olympics 2020, a sum of INR 25 lakhs. Meanwhile, it also felicitated the men's hockey team, which capped off the world event with a bronze medal, with INR 1 crore. Manpreet Singh, the captain of the medal winning squad, picked up the cheque from BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
Notably, the gold medal won by Neeraj at the Tokyo Olympics was India’s only gold at the Games last year. It was also India’s second individual gold medal in the Games’ history following the one won by Abhinav Bindra in shooting in 2008. Talking about Neeraj, he had thrown javelin to a distance of 87.58 meters to win the top honour in Tokyo. It was also India’s first-ever gold in the track and field event
On the other hand, the bronze medal won by the men’s hockey team was India’s first ever in the Olympics in 41 years. This was the first time since 1980 that the men’s hockey team had entered the semi-finals of Olympics. They had won a gold back in 1980. Meanwhile, boxer Lovlina Borgohain had lost to Busenaz Surmeneli in the semifinals of women's welterweight division but she had already assured the country of a medal by entering the final 4.