Zurich (Switzerland), Jan 25: Indian Olympic and world champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra found himself in the company of tennis legend Roger Federer in Zurich, a moment he aptly described as a "dream come true".
The two stars, both ambassadors of Switzerland Tourism, met in the picturesque backdrop of Zurich’s La Reserve Eden au Lac.
Neeraj, who clinched India's second individual Olympic gold in the Tokyo Olympics, expressed his awe for Federer's skill, sportsmanship, and ability to inspire millions worldwide.
"An absolute honour to meet a sporting icon, whose career has been and continues to be an inspiration to people. I had a great time talking to you, and hopefully we’ll meet again.@rogerfederer,” said Neeraj after the meeting.
The two sports icons exchanged notes about their passions, life experiences, and the shared responsibility of being Switzerland Tourism ambassadors.
For Federer, the admiration was reciprocal. The 20-time Grand Slam winner lauded Neeraj's remarkable achievements, citing his grit and determination as catalysts for personal and national success.
“I am amazed by how much Neeraj has achieved personally and for his country through his grit and determination. It’s been great to meet him here in Zurich,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner was quoted as saying in a report.
In a gesture of sportsmanship, Federer presented Neeraj with an autographed tennis racquet, while Neeraj reciprocated with a signed India jersey from the Asian Games.
Reflecting on the encounter, Neeraj expressed gratitude for the valuable advice received from the Swiss legend, inscribing a message on the jersey, "It was very nice meeting you. Thank you for the advice; I will follow."
Neeraj, eyeing a repeat of his Olympics success in the upcoming Paris 2024 Games, has continued to make history post-Tokyo. Clinching a silver and an unprecedented gold at the World Athletics Championships, and retaining his Asian Games gold at Hangzhou, he stands as a beacon of India's sporting prowess. (IANS)