Vikrant Malik of KIIT University, who hails from Haryana, defended his gold medal in the men's javelin throw event at the Khelo India University Games 2022 on Tuesday and soon after hailed the role played by Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra's role in motivating athletes like him.
Despite currently nursing an ankle injury and competing at the event on Tuesday wearing different shoes on both feet, Vikrant Malik, who had clinched gold in the last edition of KIUG in Bangalore, came up with a best throw of 80.00 metres at the Guru Govind Singh college grounds, here.
"I really prepared well for this and wanted to hit around the 85 mark but because of my ankle injury, which has been troubling me for the past one month, it didn't go as planned. I experienced intense pain today and will go get my injury checked with the physio as we have important Asian Games and World University trials coming up," Malik was quoted as saying by the organisers in a release on Tuesday.
Malik was the fourth Indian last year -- after Rohit Yadav, DP Manu, and Yashvir Singh -- to breach the 80m benchmark and is ranked 10th overall in a list that is headed by Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra. Vikrant's village is very close to Chopra's village in Panipat, Haryana as well.
"Neeraj Chopra inspires not just me but the entire country as he won gold at the Olympics for India. I too want to win medals for India and make my country proud. I keep talking to Neeraj and he advises us whenever we need his advice and continuously motivates us. He is always positive about everything which is very inspiring for us."