Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra is once again ready to carry the burden of India’s hopes in Paris

World champion Neeraj Chopra, who ended India’s 121-year drought of medals in athletics at the Tokyo Olympics, is once again ready to aim for gold at the Paris Olympics. The country is still hopeful of him given his recent record-breaking performance. He is currently the world’s number 1 in men’s javelin throw. Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra has received many awards and honors since his historic performance at the Tokyo Olympics. He also won the silver medal in javelin throw at the World Athletics Championships. Neeraj is the first Indian to achieve this feat.

Neeraj Chopra was born in Panipat, a district of Haryana, which is famous for its three battles. Neeraj was born on 24 December 1997 in a farmer’s house in a small village Khandra here. Neeraj did his primary education from Panipat itself. After completing his primary education, Neeraj Chopra joined a BBA college in Chandigarh and from there he got a graduation degree. Neeraj was very fat in his childhood, due to which other children of the village used to make fun of him, his family members were also troubled by his obesity, so his uncle started taking him to the stadium for running from the age of 13. But even after this, he did not feel like running.

While going to the stadium, he saw other players throwing javelin there, so he also got into it. Along with studies, he also kept practicing javelin, during which he won many medals at the national level. Neeraj won gold by throwing the javelin 86.48 meters in the IAAF World U-20 Championship held in Poland in 2016. Pleased with this, the Army appointed him as Naib Subedar as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Rajputana Regiment. Players rarely get appointment as officers in the Army, but Neeraj was made a direct officer due to his talent. In the Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018, Neeraj won the gold medal by throwing 88.06 meters.

Neeraj is the first Indian to win a gold at the Asian Games. With gold medals at the Olympics, World Athletics Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships and Diamond League titles to his name, Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has etched his name in the pages of history at a very young age. The Indian javelin thrower became the country’s first and only track and field athlete to win an Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020. Two years later, he topped the podium at the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest and became India’s first world champion in any athletics discipline. His first throw of 87.03m in the final put him on top. Neeraj Chopra then consolidated his position with a second attempt of 87.58m. This throw eventually proved to be enough for him to win a historic gold medal.

Neeraj Chopra dominated the national level as a youth and won several international accolades. He came into the limelight after winning the gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. His winning throw of 86.48m in Poland still stands as the under-20 javelin throw record and he became the first Indian track and field athlete to become a world champion at any level and hold a world record. With the qualifying cut-off for the Rio 2016 men’s javelin throw set at 83.00m, this effort would have also qualified Neeraj Chopra for his first Olympics. But unfortunately, his throw came a week after the qualification time expired. Earlier, injuries had been hampering Neeraj Chopra’s Rio qualification campaign.

However, Neeraj Chopra continued to shine on the international stage thereafter. He became Asian champion in 2017 before winning gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games. Neeraj Chopra missed the 2019 World Championships due to an elbow injury that required surgery and sidelined him for 16 months. However, returning at a meet in Potchefstroom, South Africa in January 2020, the Indian performed brilliantly to qualify for Tokyo 2020. Exactly a year after winning in Tokyo, Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships. At Oregon 2022, Neeraj Chopra finished with a best effort of 88.31m behind defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, who managed a throw of 90.54m to defend his title. The Indian javelin thrower’s medal was India’s second medal at the World Athletics Championships after long jumper Anju Bobby George’s bronze medal at the 2003 Paris World Championships.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top