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“Slept With Medal Near My Pillow”: Olympic Gold Medallist Neeraj Chopra To NDTV

Neeraj Chopra became a national hero on Saturday after his phenomenal performance in the men’s javelin throw final at the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old became the first Indian to win a gold in athletics at the Games and only the second individual Olympic gold medallist from the country. Neeraj Chopra’s historic performance in Tokyo captured the imagination of the country with congratulatory messages pouring in from all parts of the world. Having reached Tokyo from Sweden, Neeraj Chopra, speaking exclusively to NDTV, said that he had found it difficult to sleep for the first couple of days due to the time difference. But on Saturday night, he had no such problem, sleeping peacefully with the gold medal for company, kept near his pillow.

“I slept with the medal kept near my pillow. I was very happy but was also quite tired, so got good sleep,” India’s Tokyo Olympics hero told NDTV. 

It was the first time that the Indian national anthem was played at a track and field stadium during the Olympics, and Neeraj Chopra said that the feeling of hearing it from the top of the podium was indescribable. 

“It was a different feeling, our national anthem was playing at the Olympic stadium. I can’t express those feelings in words. I couldn’t sleep that well after reaching Tokyo. We had come from Sweden and there was a big time difference. First couple of days, I found it very difficult to sleep. But no problem, now I have the medal,” said the Olympic gold medallist.

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