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World Athletics president sees scope in Indian athletics, thanks to Neeraj's gold

‘To have done the way he did at the biggest global stage, it will have impact not only in Asia but also broadly around the world’
Neeraj Chopra.
Neeraj Chopra.
File Photo.

Our Bureau, PTI   |   Published 15.12.21, 10:12 PM

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe on Wednesday said India must grab the opportunity provided by Neeraj Chopra's historic gold medal in Tokyo Olympics and broaden athletics' footprint in the country by holding more international events.

Terming India's first Olympic gold in athletics "as a hugely important moment", Coe advised the country to use it in raising the profile of the sport.

"Chopra is a very strong element (in India's athletics profile). A one-off performance from an athlete, how important it is, is not that powerful if you don't have a strong federation behind it. And you have that now," Coe said during a virtual interaction with select Asian media.

"(It is) the opportunity to use that performance to broaden the footprints for athletics," he added.

"Regarding the staging of more athletics events, India is forthcoming in wanting to do that. I don't know the current thinking of the Indian government but I genuinely think that one day India will host the Olympics."

Coe, a double Olympic gold medallist in 1500m (1980 and 1984), also said that the impact of Chopra's gold will go beyond India and reach many countries of the world.

"To have done the way he did at the biggest global stage, it will have impact not only in India and Asia but also broadly around the world.

"I know only too well that there are Indian communities in all our big urban populations around the world. So that went far and wide and help in engaging communities in US, Britain and large parts of Europe and Africa wanting to be part of our sport too.

"The transmission mechanism, as they would say in economics, was a very powerful one."

Javelin thrower Chopra won India's first athletics medal in the Olympics with an effort of 87.85m in Tokyo on August 7. He also became only the second Indian after shooter Abhinav Bindra to win an individual gold in Olympics.

GoodDot signs up Neeraj

GoodDot, the leading plant-based meat company of India, has signed up Olympic gold medallist and India’s golden boy, Neeraj Chopra, as its brand ambassador. The Olympic champion will be a key part of GoodDot’s mission of creating awareness about the exciting new category of plant-based meats and enabling people to make healthier and more compassionate food choices. The association will also aim to propagate the message that small changes in lifestyle and food choices can go a long way in making the world a better place. 

Commenting on the collaboration, Neeraj Chopra said, “I am excited to join hands with GoodDot and lend my voice to their mission of creating awareness about a more compassionate world. I have tried their range of plant-based meat alternatives personally and I think it is wonderful that a home-grown company is making such a credible mark in this global movement that I look forward to being part of.”

Speaking about the association, Abhishek Sinha, Co-Founder, and CEO, GoodDot said, “Team GoodDot is proud to welcome Neeraj Chopra to our shared mission to make the world a more compassionate place. The perfect combination of hard work, ability, and a deep sense of purpose is what sets Neeraj apart as he blazed a glorious trail for India at the Olympics. These are the same traits that team GoodDot shares as it blazes a trail in putting India on the world map of the plant-based meat revolution. Neeraj will help us firmly put the category and the brand in the minds of the Indian consumer.”

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