Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal

Published : January 25, 2022 21:30 IST

Neeraj Chopra during the final of the men's javelin throw event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo on August 7, 2021. Photo: PTI

Subedar Neeraj Chopra, the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympic games and serving in the Indian Army’s 4 Rajputana Rifles, has been awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for his distinguished service. Subedar Chopra’s name figures in the list of Army personnel awarded for their gallantry and distinguished service on the eve of India’s 73rd Republic Day.

The PVSM is awarded to all ranks of the Indian Armed Forces in recognition of peace-time service of the most exceptional order. This year, it is being awarded to Neeraj Chopra and 18 other serving and retired personnel as per the Indian Army’s official “list of Army personnel awarded for their gallantry and distinguished service on the occasion of Republic Day 2022”.

Chopra, who threw the javelin to an astounding 87.58metres during the second round of the finals at the August 2021 Tokyo Olympics, went on to win the gold medal for India, creating history in the process.

He joined the Army as Naib Subedar in May 2016. Soon after his enrolment in the Rajputana Rifles, he was selected for training as part of “Mission Olympics Wing”and for training at the Army Sports Institute, Pune. Chopra is not new to national awards, including military awards. In 2018, he was conferred the Arjuna Award and in 2020 he was given the Vishist Seva Medal (VSM) for his excellence in sports.

Among this year’s gallantry awards, six personnel of the Indian Army were awarded the Shaurya Chakra, the third-highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy. Of the six awardees, five were awarded posthumously.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Defence, the Indian Army received a total of 317 awards for the gallantry and distinguished service of its personnel. In addition to the six Shaurya Chakras and 19 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, 33 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 84 Sena Medals (gallantry), including three “Bar to Sena Medal (gallantry)”, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 40 Sena Medals (distinguished), 77 Vishisht Seva Medals (VSM), including three “Bar to VSM”, and 44 mention-in-dispatches have been awarded to Army personnel.