Former World Championship bronze-medallist boxer Gaurav Bidhuri feels that with the success at the Tokyo Olympics, sports other than cricket are also getting due recognition.
“The market value of other sports has also gone up. People have started watching and appreciating Olympic sports, which is good for athletes. Neeraj Chopra, the news golden boy, is getting good brands. It feels great that sports other than cricket are also getting this recognition,” Bidhuri told IANS.
According to reports, Chopra’s brand value has shot up 10-fold since his Olympic triumph, bringing him on par with some of the top Indian athletes.
“I read somewhere that, according to brand experts, Neeraj has vaulted into the elite club of Indian athletes whose brand value can rake in endorsements by the dozen. They add that he could even surpass some top cricketers. That is something so encouraging for young athletes,” he said.
The 23-year-old Chopra has become the second Indian after shooter Abhinav Bindra to win an individual gold medal for India.
Delhi boxer Bidhuri appreciated the kind of support athletes are getting from the government these days.
“The government is helping athletes in every way possible. TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) is good; Khelo India is a great platform and rewards now from IOA (Indian Olympic Association) are fantastic. Athletes have got due recognition. PM Modi inviting athletes for Independence Day celebration I can’t even tell (you) what the athletes must be thinking. This would be like a dream coming true for many. Such appreciation and rewards will help India become a sports power,” he said.
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