Vijayanagar (Karnataka), Sept 12: Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra and a host of other medallists and participants were felicitated by the JSW Group in Bellary, on Saturday,
Apart from Chopra, Bjarang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and PR Sreejesh were in attendance. Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Founder and Director of JSW Group and Parth Jindal, Founder and Director of the IIS led the felicitations where efforts of all medal winners, athletes from the IIS who had made the Tokyo cut, and coaching and non-coaching staff were recognised.
The afternoon began with the felicitation of the eight athletes, who trained at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) for the Tokyo Games. The Olympians included Sreeshankar Murali (Long jumper), Sushila Devi (Judoka), Vikas Krishan Yadav (Boxer), Satish Kumar (Boxer), Ashish Kumar (Boxer), Annu Rani (Javelin thrower), Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase) and Seema Bisla (wrestler).
The Olympic Medallists, who were felicitated at the event included Neeraj Chopra (Gold, Javelin Throw), Bajrang Punia (Bronze, Wrestling), the Men's Hockey Team represented by PR Sreejesh (Bronze) and Ravi Dahiya (Silver, Wrestling). Mirabai Chanu (Silver, Weightlifting), Lovlina Borgohain (Bronze, Boxing) and PV Sindhu (Bronze, Badminton) couldn't make the event, but had their awards announced.
The US$ 13 billion, JSW Group, presented awards to the athletes amounting to more than Rs 25 million. The awards were a goodwill gesture by JSW to all the Indian athletes who showed their potential at the Tokyo Games and brought laurels to the country.
The JSW Sports management also felicitated Neeraj Chopra and Bajrang Punia's coaches at the Inspire Institute of Sport, who had a tremendous impact on both the athletes' performances at the Tokyo Games.
Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and MD JSW Group said "We have won seven medals at the Olympics and 19 at the Paralympics, and that's the clearest indication that India is moving to greater heights on the world stage. I am sure India has the potential to win many more medals at the Olympics."
Speaking during a panel discussion, Founder and Director- Inspire Institute of Sport Parth Jindal said, "While the government has a National Institute of Sport in Patiala and SAI centers all over the country, there was nothing at the grassroots level and that's a big reason why IIS was established. We wanted to build a High Performance Centre that will inspire many other corporates to also step in and raise the standard in the country.
"As an institute, we always work towards ensuring that the athletes peak at the Olympics - you have to do your personal best at the Olympics Games - and that's the vision for all of us who are in the business of sport. As long as you give your best it doesn't matter if you come back with a medal or not. We are so proud to host and felicitate all the medal winners today, and we wish them the best for Paris 2024 and beyond. The doors of the IIS will always be open to every athlete representing India, at no cost."
JSW Sports CEO Mustafa Ghouse said, "We set up the IIS with the agenda of providing athletes with the best-in-class infrastructure and training facilities, apart from the financial challenges they face in Indian sport. The feeling and admiration we receive through our patrons, donors and everyone involved in the program inspires us to do a lot more and keep pushing the needle. Nothing unites us like sport, and we saw how the country came together for the Olympics and the Paralympics. Hopefully, when we are back here in September of 2024, we will need a lot more chairs to accommodate all our medal winners."
Gold medallist Chopra, who was the toast of the afternoon, said, "I am always very happy to be here at IIS because, for me, this feels like home. This is where I have spent time recovering from my injury not long ago and worked hard to reach the level that was needed for me to bring home the Olympic Gold. The facilities here are fantastic and the care you get is second to none. You also get motivated by watching others train alongside you, and I am sure my Gold medal is just the start of global success that athletes from here are bound to achieve."
Source: Media Release