Neeraj Chopra and the Indian Army's stellar show at the Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics saw a total of 12 men from the Indian army compete across various events, and the country's only gold medal too came via an armyman.
The Indian army has always stood up to safeguard the country when it matters the most. Be it wars or natural disasters, the Indian army has always been at the forefront to protect the citizens of India.
But besides that, the Indian army has always been a breeding ground for some of the best Indian athletes including the likes of the legendary Milkha Singh and others.
The Tokyo Olympics saw a total of 12 men from the Indian army compete across various events, and the army even delivered the country's only gold via Neeraj Chopra. Here we look at how some of the brave men from the Indian army made us proud at the Tokyo Olympics:
Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh
The Indian men's lightweight doubles sculls pair in rowing, both Arjun Jat and Arvind Singh started rowing only after they joined the Indian army. Holding the post of Naib Subedar, the duo went on to register a historic performance by becoming the first rowers from the country to enter the semifinal of the Olympics. They eventually finished 11th overall and punched much above his weight.
The only Indian male boxer to win a bout at the Olympics, Satish Kumar is a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian army. The 32-year-old got 13 stitches after his win in the first bout, but still came out for his quarterfinal against the reigning World Champion and won the hearts of the Indian sports fans for his never say die attitude.
Making his debut at the Olympic Games, Pravin Jadhav shone bright with his bow and arrow skills at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He first topped the ranking round amongst Indian men and made his way to pair Deepika Kumari in the mixed team event. A havaldar in the Indian army, Pravin Jadhav quite clearly stood out as the best Indian archer in the men's team event and reached the Round of 32 in the individual event.
A racewalker by specialisation, Sandeep Kumar also works for the Indian army. The 35-year-old was the best out of the three Indian racewalkers in contention in the men's 20km and finished at a respectable 23rd spot after being amongst the leading pack for the first 10 kilometres.
Avinash Sable set a national record in men's 3000m steeplechase at Tokyo Olympics. Having taken up the sport only in 2015 after joining the Indian army, Sable clocked 8:18.12 but failed to qualify for the final. The 26-year-old timing was way better than three others who directly qualified by finishing in the top 3 in another heat, and was also the fastest loser to not make it to the final.
Neeraj Chopra needs no introduction. A Naib Subedar in the Indian army, Neeraj Chopra became India's only second individual Olympic gold medallist in their history at the quadrennial event. The 23-year-old threw the javelin to a distance of 87.58m - a whopping 0.91m clear of the silver medal finish.