Javelin throw gold medalist Neeraj Chopra led India’s Olympic group home and was greeted joyfully by authorities as a swarm assembled outside the airport to welcome the heroes of the country’s most successful Games campaign ever. The athletes were greeted with open arms by a group of Sports Authority of India. The group included Director Sandeep Pradhan and Adille Sumariwala, the President of the Athletics Federation of India. Upon arrival, the athletes were greeted with garlands, bouquets, and cheers from airport workers as they made their way out into the commotion caused by a large number of spectators and media personnel.
How did the Indian Crowd welcome the stars?
- On arrival, the athletes were garlanded and presented with bouquets, and they were welcomed by airline personnel as they exited to complete chaos.
- Dancing and signing up to the rhythm of the band playing and waving tricolor, people showed their admiration for the medal winners.
- The most spectacular exit was made by bronze-medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia, who was spotted welcoming and gesturing to his admirers from the sunroof of an SUV, which had multiple followers hanging to as he made his way out the airport, breaching all traffic restrictions.
- It’s Neeraj Chopra’s turn to shine as India’s first gold in 13 years, and the first-ever in track and field events was won by the sprinter. The 23-year-old army soldier is also an Asian and Commonwealth Games champion and dominated the competition with a throw of 87.58m in the finals to win the gold in Tokyo.
- People came up with posters to greet gold medalist athlete Neeraj Chopra on his arrival at IGI Airport in New Delhi. Fans even did push-ups and planks outside the airport to show how enthusiastic they were. Inside the airport, Chopra and other medal winners had to fight their way through a mob of selfie-takers.
- In New Delhi, Union Ministers Anurag Thakur and Kiren Rijiju congratulated the medalists of the Tokyo Olympics just hours after they emerged from the Tokyo airport amidst the commotion. Sports minister Anurag Thakur said that their trip is “a wonderful story of resilience and sporting achievement” as he congratulated the medal-winners.
India sent its largest-ever delegation to the Tokyo Olympics, with 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines. The Indian players competed in a total of 69 events. Despite the numerous hurdles they experienced while practicing for the Games, including lockdowns and a lack of competitive activity, the Indians outperformed all expectations with their efforts, which included some excellent but medal-less performances.
For the first time in history, India has won seven medals in a variety of sports. Neeraj Chopra won the Gold Medal. Mirabai Chanu (Weight Lifter) and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (wrestler) brought home silver medals. Bronze medalists included boxer Lovlina Borgohain, shuttler P V Sindhu, the Men’s Hockey team, and wrestler Bajrang Punia. India eclipsed its previous greatest total of six medals from the 2012 London Olympics with one gold, two silver, and four bronze medals in Tokyo.