It was the Board of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) that bought the historic javelin with which Neeraj Chopra won India its first-ever gold in track and field in the Olympics. Neeraj had presented this javelin to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the post-Olympic ceremony for the successful athletes.
Later on, the javelin, along with numerous other memorabilia, was included in the e-auction to raise funds for the ‘Namami Gange Programme’. Chopra’s javelin attracted an aye-watering sum of Rs 1.5 Crore, but no one knew who submitted the winning bid, until the BCCI official revealed it to the PTI on Friday.
“BCCI had made the winning bid for Neeraj’s javelin. But we also bid for a couple of other collectibles. It (Namami Gange) is a noble cause and the office bearers in BCCI felt that as one of the premier sporting bodies in the country, we had a duty towards the nation,” PTI quoted a BCCI official as saying.
The next highest bid, of Rs 1.25 crore, went for fencer Bhavani Devi’s sword, while Paralympian Sumit Antil’s javelin attracted a bid of Rs 1.02 crore. The gloves of Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain fetched Rs 92 lakh.
Chopra has also donated one of his javelins from Tokyo to the Olympics museum based in Switzerland. He took a nine-month break after the Olympics, but returned to action with the same intensity, becoming the first Indian to win silver at World Athletics Championships in Oregon. He missed the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham owing to a shoulder injury.
Chopra, however, has recovered from the injury, and qualified for the Diamonds League final with a scintillating performance at Lussane Diamond League. Chopra recorded a throw of 89.08m, which was second to none at the event. He has been on the mission to breach the hallowed 90m mark.
“89m is a great performance. I am especially pleased as I am coming back from an injury and tonight was a good indicator that I have recovered well,” he added.
“I had to skip Commonwealth Games due to injury and I was a bit nervous. Tonight has given me a lot of confidence to finish the season on a high, with a strong performance in Zurich DL Final.”
Lead Image: Neeraj Chopra/Twitter