‘Left my mark, Papa’, Neeraj Chopra's first words to father after winning gold

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‘Gaad diya Papa lath,' said an ecstatic Neeraj Chopra as he talked to his father Satish Kumar over the phone after winning Olympics gold medal for India on Saturday. The Haryanvi phrase roughly means that 'I have left my mark.'

The 23-year-old's historic moment at Tokyo has certainly left a mark on over a billion Indians. He won the men's javelin throw event by a comfortable margin with a throw of 87.58 m. Chopra became the first ever Indian to win the coveted gold in India's track and field event at the Olympics since the time India officially gained entry into the Games in 1928.. He is also the second Indian to win a gold medal at the Olympics in an individual event.

Speaking to ANI, Kumar said, "My happiness cannot be expressed in words. I am extremely happy from the bottom of my heart. I am so happy that the country's dream has been fulfilled through the efforts of my son."

"We come from a farmer's background. A farmer never has enough to live on his own accord. I believe that families, who have lived with lack of amenities, realize the importance of basic amenities and have the courage to live their dreams and achieve something in life," he said.

The father of the javelin thrower emphasized on the importance of maintaining physical and mental health. He said, "We will not be successful in life until and unless we take care of our physical and mental health. Neeraj did the same."

"We are a family of four brothers. All of us in our family made sure that Neeraj gets proper guidance for becoming a proper javelin thrower. We all supported him in fulfilling his dream. Our entire village prayed for his success. We knew from the beginning that our child has the potential to win gold, but today he has proved it!," said Satish Kumar while getting teary-eyed on his son's success.

Soon after winning the gold, an emotional Chopra dedicated his gold medal to the late Milkha Singh.

“I dedicate this medal to Milkha Singh. I hope he’s watching upon me from wherever he is,” he told the media after winning the gold medal.

Chopra was surprised that he had achieved this feat at the grandest event in the world of sports on his first appearance.

“It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good. We have just one gold here in other sports,” the javelin star said. “This is our first Olympic medal for a very long time, and in athletics it is the first time we have gold, so it’s a proud moment for me and my country.”

Meanwhile, the non-descript Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district erupted into celebrations when the news flashed that its talented son, Subedar Neeraj Chopra, VSM, had won India's only gold at the Tokyo Games.

(With inputs from agencies)

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