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India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
Milind Soman is known to set benchmarks every day with his fitness goals. At 55, the sporty actor can give all the health aficionados a run for their money. Recently, the actor-model had embarked upon an eight-day run of 416 km run from Mumbai to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. Milind has broken many stereotypes in his life. From bold photoshoots in his early modeling days to running marathons barefoot, he has done it all.
In a candid conversation with IANS, Milind says: "I give a lot of importance to sports and how it has shaped my life and made me the kind of person I am. It gives you a self-belief in your own capability... What you can do and what you're good at."
"In life, people doubt so much like, 'am I doing the right thing?' I think when you do sports, you understand your body, mind, and spirit. You have better confidence and knowledge about what to do. You're not really influenced by people saying, 'oh, you shouldn't do this because it might be bad and you might fall down, anything can happen. You're not that influenced by other people's thought process," Milind says.
Milind was last seen in the OTT series 'Paurashpur'. He will be seen next as one of the judges on 'MTV Supermodel of the Year - 2' with Malaika Arora and Anusha Dandekar.
(Article originally published on IANS) (IANS/MBI).
Keywords: Milind Soman, Sports, Fitness, Life
With border restrictions easing and vaccination programmes slowly gaining momentum, Booking.com launches the Booking Explorers campaign to celebrate the spirit of travel through the lens of renowned adventures, leaders and trailblazers across Asia Pacific. As part of this campaign, the travel platform has announced Grand Slam Champion Sania Mirza as its India Explorer. Sania along with other leading personalities from Asia Pacific will be sharing their most treasured travel memories to re-ignite travel inspiration and remind us of the transformational impact travel has on our lives, as we dream of our own return to travel.
Commenting on the campaign and her association with Booking.com, Sania Mirza said "I am thrilled to come onboard as an explorer for Booking.com's Explorers campaign, through which I got to reminisce my travel memories. My love for travel only came into existence because of my love for tennis. Travel has played a fundamental role in my life and my career since my childhood and will continue to do so in the years to come. While the way we travel now has definitely changed, the urge to explore the world continues to exist even more today."
She said "My love for travel only came into existence because of my love for tennis."
This campaign is built on the sentiment where travel remains fundamental to people's lives, and to explore and experience our world is an innate humanneed. It deep dives into Sania's storied career which took her to new heights, giving her the opportunity to travel across the world and pursue a successful career in tennis. Previously ranked as double's world number 1, winning six Grand Slam titles, Sania's life is filled with activity, adventure and competition. When the pandemic hit, borders closed and the world came to a halt, Sania took this time to rediscover India and explore the incredible destinations closer to home. It was during this time she explored her passion for adventure, travelling with her son and reimagining the world through his eyes.
The campaign also showcases stories of Amazing Race Australia winners, Tim and Rod, who have travelled the world proudly representing the freedom to love and who advocate making travel more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community. Korean alternative pop band, Leenalchi, connected people through the power of their music, travelling the world to find inspiration for new songs and interacting with global fans. Rising style icon and global fashion model, Chau Bui, calls Vietnam home but has travelled from Seoul to Paris, New York and Milan to find inspiration for her unique style. In Paris, famed Japanese illustrator Kaori Watanabe expanded her mental comfort zones through travel and used this new perspective to create art that transports us to faraway lands.
Sania top contender for Khel Ratna. Wikimedia
The Explorers campaign is a celebration of their mindset & spirit of travel - embodying a relentless desire to experience and explore, in spite of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Whether it's their journey, their stories or the impact travel has made on them - be it hard-earned wisdom, hilarious insights or an empowering message of transformation and hope - these powerful experiences shed light on why travel has continued to remain so fundamental to our identities, and also what a return to travel could mean to us personally.
"As we begin thinking about a return to travel, this campaign is a heartfelt reminder of its transformational impact and celebrates the spirit of travel through the voices of our Explorers," said Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager, South Asia at Booking.com. "Like many of us, they were forced to look inwards during this time and found new inspiration in travel where it was possible, while advocating for their greatest passions from home. With travel slowly resuming, it is my hope that these stories will bring a message of hope to our travellers; and continue to broaden our horizons on how we can still experience our world responsibly, when it's safe to do so."
(Article originally published at IANSlife) (IANS/SS)
Keywords: sports, tennis, sania mirza, travel
Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is heading back to England to play for the team where he became a legend.
Manchester United said Friday that it had reached an agreement to bring the 36-year-old Portuguese forward back to Old Trafford, where the storied club plays.
"Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical," a statement from the team read.
"Cristiano, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, has so far won over 30 major trophies during his career, including five Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the European Championship for his native Portugal.
"In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games. Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester," the statement concluded.
Ronaldo said on Thursday that he no longer wanted to play for Juventus of the Italian league.
While details of the move were not officially made public, The Associated Press said the transfer fee would be $29.5 million. Ronaldo had a year left on his contract with Juventus. His contract with United is for two years.
Ronaldo played previously for Manchester United from 2003 to 2009 when he left to play for Spanish team Real Madrid before moving on to Juventus.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who played alongside Ronaldo at the club, said, "He is the greatest player of all time, if you ask me."
"Such a tremendous human being as well. ... Everyone who's played with him, I think, has a soft spot for him," Solskjaer said.
United no doubt hopes Ronaldo can help the team win the Premier League championship, something it hasn't done since 2013. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Soccer