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Olympic Gold Medalist Neeraj Chopra to be Honoured with Param Vashistha Seva Medal on Republic Day Eve

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, in New Delhi on August 16, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, in New Delhi on August 16, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Neeraj Chopra, who is the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in track and field at the Olympics, will be honoured with the Param Vashistha Seva Medal on the eve of Republic Day.

Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra will be honoured with Param Vashistha Seva Medal on the eve of Republic Day. The Javelin star became the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in track and field at the Olympics.

Originally, Chopra enlisted into the Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Naib Subedar in 2016 under one of the Army’s oldest rifle regiments and his parent unit — 4 Rajputana Rifles. Naib Subedar is a rank that JCOs reach after 20 years of service. Chopra received a promotion after the Asian Games performance and presently holds the rank of Subedar.

After joining the Army, he was selected for training at the ‘Mission Olympics Wing’ as well as at the Army Sports Institute, Pune.

The Mission Olympics Wing is an initiative by the Indian Army to identify and train promising sportspersons in 11 disciplines for various national and international competitions

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On Tuesday, President Ram Nath Kovind will honour 384 defence personnel with Gallantary and other awards which include 12 Shaurya Chakras, 29 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, 53 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 13 Yudh Seva Medals, three Bar to Vishisht Seva Medals, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the evening.

The President will also honour the winners of 122 Vishisht Seva Medals, three Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 81 Sena Medals (Gallantry), two Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry), 40 Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), and 14 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty) in the evening.

In fact, Haryana will have a life-size replica of Neeraj Chopra in the form of a tableau during the 2022 Republic Day parade which will be held at Rajpath in New Delhi on January 26.

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Neeraj was also honoured with India’s highest sporting honour, the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna Award, last year. Chopra was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2018 and Vishist Seva Medal (VSM) in 2020 for his excellence in sports.

Neeraj is currently training in California with sights set on World Championship, Diamond League, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.

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first published:January 25, 2022, 16:43 IST