The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday held a small felicitation ceremony for the gold medallists of the Tokyo Olympics, which saw Neeraj Chopra and other winners honoured ahead of the start of the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Chopra, who made his debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and went on to win the gold, was awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 crore by the BCCI.

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The 24-year-old’s throw of 87.58 metres in the Tokyo Olympics saw him become not only the second Indian to win an individual Olympic event after Abhinav Bindra, but also the youngest-ever Indian to win an Olympic gold.

The BCCI also went on to felicitate boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who became the third Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal, after she won the bronze medal at the women’s welterweight event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Borgohain was given a prize of Rs 25 lakh by the BCCI for her contributions to Indian sports.

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The Indian men’s hockey team was also honoured by the BCCI for ending a 41-year wait for an Olympic medal in hockey. The young Indian side had defeated Germany in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to secure the bronze medal. For their achievement, the BCCI awarded the team a collective prize of Rs 1 crore, which was collected by team captain Manpreet Singh from BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.

The small felicitation ceremony by the BCCI was the only event to mark the start of the new IPL season: no grand opening ceremony to kick-off the season was held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.