Bhubaneswar: Javeline star Neeraj Chopra, who made history by winning India’s first Olympic track and field gold medal since independence in Tokyo last week, was treated for shoulder pain by a sports surgery and sports medicine expert in Bhubaneswar four years ago.
Chopra was taking part in the Asian Athletics Championship at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in July 2017 when he and a friend visited Dr. (Major) Sarthak Patnaik, specialist in orthopedics and sports medicine, stepped in and complained of pain in his right shoulder.
“I examined the young athlete and found that the pain was mainly muscular and sinewy. We treated the pain conservatively while his friend was treated for an Achilles tendon injury, ”said Dr. (Major) Patnaik, currently Senior Physician in the Department of Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine and Surgery at a private hospital here.
“I found him to be a very gentle, humble and down-to-earth athlete. He was very happy to know that I was a retired officer myself, ”he said.
Chopra won gold in the men’s Javeline litter at the championship, which took place from July 6th to 9th, 2017. Chopra won the event with a throw of 85.23m, a championship record, and beat Qatar’s Ahmed Bader Magour.
“Today I am very proud that Chopra won a gold medal at the Olympic Games and I will always cherish the memory of him four years ago,” said Dr. (Major) Patnaik and added: “I wish him that he will win many more laurels for the country in the future.”
Dr. (Major) Patnaik is an expert in ligament and cartilage reconstruction surgery, shoulder arthroscopy and sports surgery after completing a fellowship in these fields at the Pennsylvania Sports Medicine Department, USA. He was also trained in hip arthroscopy and sports medicine from Clinica Mompia, Spain and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.