Magnolia Class 5, ‘Gold at Last’: Here we are helping students with the para wise explanation of the lesson ‘Gold at Last’. It will students in understanding the lesson and its core message. Click here for the Question and answers of ‘Gold at Last’.
Para Wise Explanation & Word Meanings
- Penultimate: Second to last.
- Tally: The total number.
- Pinned its hopes on: Relied on or expected success from.
- Freestyle wrestling: A style of wrestling where competitors can use any legal technique to take down their opponent.
- Javelin throw: A track and field event where athletes throw a spear-like object called a javelin for distance.
Explanation: On August 7, 2021, which was the second to last day of the Tokyo Olympics, India had already won five medals and was eager to increase this number. The country was particularly looking forward to the performances of three athletes: Aditi Ashok in women’s golf, Bajrang Punia in freestyle wrestling, and Neeraj Chopra in men’s javelin throw. These athletes were considered as potential medal winners, and the nation was hopeful that they would contribute to India’s medal tally.
- Stole the show: Attracted the most attention or acclaim.
- Track-and-field events: Athletic competitions involving running, jumping, and throwing.
- Victory stand: The podium where medalists stand to receive their medals.
- National anthem: A patriotic song representing a country, often played on official occasions.
Explanation: Despite Aditi’s inability to win a medal and Bajrang’s bronze, it was Neeraj who captured everyone’s attention by winning the gold medal. This victory was particularly significant because it marked India’s first medal in track-and-field events at the Olympics in over a century. As Neeraj, a 23-year-old athlete, stood on the victory stand with the gold medal around his neck, and the Indian national anthem played, the entire nation rejoiced in his success. His achievement was celebrated across the country, symbolizing pride and joy for India.
- Run-up: The period leading up to an event or competition.
- Qualifying rounds: Preliminary competitions held to determine which competitors will advance to the finals.
- Concentration: The ability to focus one’s attention and efforts on a task.
- Leading position: Being in first place or ahead of others.
- Inspiration: Something or someone that motivates or encourages.
Explanation: Before the finals, Neeraj consistently performed well in all the qualifying rounds. His exceptional throw of 86.65 meters secured his place in the Olympic finals. Despite the immense pressure of competing in the Olympics, the most prestigious sporting event globally, Neeraj remained focused and undeterred. His first throw of 87.03 meters and second throw of 87.58 meters immediately placed him in the lead, despite tough competition from athletes representing the Czech Republic, such as Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely. Interestingly, Neeraj found inspiration from their coach, Jan Zelezny, who is a world record holder and Olympic champion in javelin throw. Zelezny’s achievements served as a significant source of motivation for Neeraj throughout his journey.
- Fit: Healthy and physically active.
- Gym: A place equipped for physical exercise and weightlifting.
- Chance: Unexpectedly or by accident.
- Practising: Engaging in repeated exercises or activities to improve skills.
- Attracted: Drawn to or interested in.
Explanation: Neeraj, born into a farming family in Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana, initially had no inclination towards sports during his childhood. However, his father, Satish Chopra, encouraged him to participate in sports to maintain his health and fitness. Neeraj began his journey by joining a gym in Panipat as per his father’s guidance. It was during one of his runs at the Shivaji Stadium in Panipat that Neeraj stumbled upon javelin throwers practicing there. Intrigued by the sport, he was immediately drawn to it and decided to try his hand at javelin throwing.
- Jeered: Mocked or teased in a disrespectful manner.
- Undeterred: Not discouraged or disheartened.
- Excel: To be exceptionally skilled or proficient in something.
- Wee hours: Very early in the morning, typically before dawn.
- Practise: Engage in repeated exercise or activity to improve skills.
- Tractor: A vehicle used for pulling farm machinery or trailers.
- Bike: Short for bicycle, a two-wheeled vehicle propelled by pedals.
Explanation: In Khandra, javelin throw was viewed as an unusual sport, and the local community had little knowledge about it. Neeraj often faced mockery and teasing from people in his village for choosing this sport. However, Neeraj remained determined and unaffected by the negativity. He was resolute in his decision to excel in javelin throw and was willing to put in the necessary effort to become the best in the field. Every day, he embarked on a journey from Khandra, setting out in the early hours of the morning, traveling long distances by bus or hitchhiking on tractors or bikes to reach the stadium where he could practice the sport he was passionate about. Despite the challenges and skepticism from his community, Neeraj’s dedication and commitment to his craft never wavered.
- Sports Authority of India (SAI): A government body in India responsible for the development of sports.
- Potential: Natural ability or capacity for growth or success.
Explanation: During one of his visits to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) center in Panipat, a javelin thrower and sports coach named Jaiveer Choudhary observed Neeraj’s natural talent. Even without any formal training, Neeraj was able to throw the javelin a remarkable distance of 40 meters. Recognizing Neeraj’s immense potential, Jaiveer Choudhary offered to coach him. This offer provided Neeraj with the opportunity to receive professional guidance and training to further develop his skills in javelin throw. It marked a significant turning point in Neeraj’s journey, as he now had the support and mentorship of an experienced coach to help him refine his talent and reach his full potential in the sport.
- District championships: Competitions held at the district level where athletes from the area compete against each other.
- Bronze: A third-place medal in a competition.
- Stamina: The ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort.
- Strength: Physical power and energy.
Explanation: Following his training under Jaiveer Choudhary, Neeraj achieved success by winning his first medal—a bronze—in the district championships. After a year of training in Panipat, Neeraj, now 14 years old, moved on to further his training at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula. Under the guidance of his new coach, Naseem Ahmad, Neeraj not only received instruction in javelin throw but also underwent training in long-distance running. This additional training regimen aimed to enhance Neeraj’s overall athletic abilities by improving his stamina and physical strength. Neeraj’s dedication to training and his willingness to explore various aspects of athleticism contributed to his continuous growth and development as an athlete.
- National champion: The winner of a national-level competition.
- Youth Olympics: A multi-sport event for young athletes, held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee.
- Qualification: The process of meeting the necessary criteria to participate in an event or competition.
- World record: The best performance ever achieved in a particular sport or event, recognized as such by the governing body.
- U20 Championships: Championships for athletes under the age of 20.
Explanation: Neeraj’s exceptional talent and unwavering determination propelled him to remarkable achievements in his athletic career. In 2012, he emerged as the national champion in javelin throw in the under-16 category, showcasing his dominance at the national level. His success extended beyond national borders when he secured his first international medal during the Youth Olympics Qualification held in Bangkok. However, Neeraj’s most groundbreaking achievement came in 2016 at the World U20 Championships in Poland, where he etched his name in history as the first Indian track-and-field athlete to set a world record. With a remarkable throw of 86.48 meters, Neeraj’s performance not only earned him a gold medal but also solidified his status as a global sensation in javelin throw. This extraordinary feat showcased Neeraj’s immense talent and marked a significant milestone in his journey towards becoming one of India’s most celebrated athletes.
- Junior Commissioned Officer: A rank in the Indian Army below that of a commissioned officer.
- Naib Subedar: A non-commissioned officer rank in the Indian Army.
- Rajputana Rifles: A regiment of the Indian Army.
- Mission Olympics Wing: A specialized unit within the Indian Army focused on training athletes for the Olympics.
- Army Sports Institute: A premier sports training facility operated by the Indian Army, located in Pune.
- Commonwealth Games: A multi-sport event involving countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
- Asian Games: A multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from Asia.
- Arjuna Award: A prestigious award presented by the Government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in sports.
Explanation: In recognition of his exceptional talent and performance, Neeraj was offered a position as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army in 2017. He joined as a ‘Naib Subedar’ in the Rajputana Rifles, which provided him with valuable opportunities for training and support in his athletic career. Neeraj had the privilege of training at both the ‘Mission Olympics Wing’ of the Indian Army and the Army Sports Institute in Pune, renowned facilities for sports training.
The year 2018 marked a series of significant achievements for Neeraj. He secured gold medals in both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, showcasing his dominance on the international stage. Neeraj’s gold medal at the Asian Games made him the first Indian javelin thrower to achieve this milestone in the history of the Games. In recognition of his outstanding performance, he was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award by the Government of India. These accolades underscored Neeraj’s status as one of India’s premier athletes and highlighted his remarkable contributions to the field of javelin throw.
- International competitions: Sporting events involving athletes from different countries.
- Injured: Suffering from physical harm or damage to the body.
- Diligently: With careful and persistent effort.
- Qualify: To meet the necessary standards or criteria to participate in an event.
- Tokyo Olympics: The Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan.
Explanation: Despite his stellar performance in 2018, Neeraj faced a setback in the following year due to an injury to his elbow, which prevented him from participating in any international competitions. He had to undergo a lengthy period of recovery, waiting for over a year for his injury to heal. However, Neeraj remained resilient and maintained his commitment to his training regimen, practicing diligently despite the challenges he faced.
When Neeraj made his comeback to competitive sports in January 2020, his hard work and perseverance paid off. He easily qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with an impressive throw of 87.86 meters. Neeraj’s ability to overcome adversity and return to form showcased his determination and resilience as an athlete. His qualification for the Olympics marked a significant achievement and set the stage for his participation in one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.
- Arrogant: Having an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
- Complacent: Satisfied with one’s achievements to the point of becoming lazy or self-satisfied.
- Khel Ratna Award: India’s highest sporting honor, awarded for outstanding achievements in sports.
- Param Vishisht Seva Medal: A distinguished service medal awarded by the Government of India for exceptional service in the armed forces.
- Padma Shri: One of the highest civilian awards in India, conferred for distinguished service in various fields.
Explanation: Despite Neeraj’s remarkable performance in the Tokyo Olympics, which elevated him to the status of World Number 2 in javelin throw, he remained grounded and humble. His passion for the sport prevented him from becoming arrogant or complacent, despite receiving numerous prestigious awards such as the Khel Ratna Award, the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, and the Padma Shri.
Looking ahead, Neeraj has set ambitious goals for himself. He aspires to achieve a javelin throw distance of over 90 meters, a feat that would place him among the elite javelin throwers in the world. Neeraj’s determination to continuously improve and push his limits exemplifies his dedication to excellence in his sport. His relentless pursuit of greatness serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and underscores his status as one of India’s most promising sporting talents.