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Make Track And Field Events More Attractive And Marketable: Neeraj Chopra

Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Wednesday emphasised on making track and field athletics events more attractive and marketable for Indian fans. The Tokyo Olympics gold medallist, with which he became the first Indian to stand on the podium in track and field events at the sporting showpiece, shared his thoughts on what ails this discipline of athletics in the country. “First of all, I feel that the international competitions where we compete such as the Diamond League, Continental Tours, and World Athletics Championships, should be broadcast in India. “Currently, we only get to watch the highlights though people want to watch the athletics, they stay up till 1-2 am in the night, and wait for the athlete to play but they face disappointment after not being able to watch,” Chopra said.

He was addressing a gathering at the RCB Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India.

Broadcasting athletics events on TV will enable more people to start watching, to understand, and increase the awareness about the competitions that the Indians compete in, Chopra said.

RCB Innovation Lab is an initiative that brings together people from the international sporting world to “create a platform where influential dialogues and the exchange of innovative ideas become centre stage”.

The Haryana-born athlete has had an exceptional year so far, bagging gold medals at the Asian Games and World Athletics Championships.

Chopra also spoke about how much India’s sporting ecosystem has developed in the past few years, stressing on the need to organise international competitions in India which could be a game-changer for athletics.

“If countries like Kenya and Grenada can host international athletics competitions on a world-class level regularly, India also has great capability to do the same.

“Whenever I meet people from the World Athletics organisation, they express their interest in hosting such a tournament in India. I am hopeful (that) if India can host such competitive events, more people can witness such championships in person and be inspired,” Chopra said.

Speaking about his preparations as he gets back from a break, he said, “My preparation will begin with removing the excess fat accumulated in the last few days.

“I had a lot of milk, ghee, churma, and sweets in my hometown while I was there. I tried my best to control it but couldn’t. But I know when I get started with my training I will be able to get rolling in 2-3 weeks time.”

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