Haryana scripts history with twin medals: Khattar

Two Haryana athletes on Saturday scripted history at the Tokyo Olympics by winning a gold and a bronze for India.

Hailing from Panipat district, Neeraj Chopra made the country and the state proud by winning gold in men’s javelin throw, while Bajrang Punia from Jhajjar district bagged bronze after routing Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan 8-0 in 65 kg freestyle wrestling.

Talking to the media after watching the Olympic actions at his residence here, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced cash rewards of Rs 6 crore and Rs 2.5 crore for Chopra and Punia, respectively.

“Apart from cash reward, the state government has also decided to offer the position of head at the Centre of Excellence for Athletics to be set up in Panchkula to Neeraj Chopra as per the state’s sports policy,” Khattar said.

He added that Punia would be given a cash reward of Rs 2.5 crore for winning bronze. He will also be given a government job.

The Chief Minister said that both Chopra and Punia would also be provided a plot each at concessional rates.

“To encourage the young and budding players hailing from Bajrang Punia’s village Khudan in Jhajjar district, an indoor wrestling stadium with world-class facilities would be constructed,” he said.

He said that on August 13, the state has planned a grand felicitation ceremony to honour all the athletes from Haryana who have made India and the state proud in Tokyo.

The ceremony would be held at the Indradhanush Stadium in Panchkula, Khattar said.

Despite having only 2 per cent of the country’s population, Haryana athletes accounted for 25 per cent of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Games. Out of the 120-strong Indian contingent, 30 were from Haryana.