Neeraj Chopra, the first Asian athlete to win the men’s javelin throw Olympics, created history. Neeraj Chopra is the first athlete from India to win a track and field gold medal in the Olympics. Additionally, he created history by becoming India’s first World Athletics: Under 20 Champion in track and field. He set a world record in 2016 over the 86.48-meter distance for the under-20 age category, becoming the first Indian athlete to do so. Neeraj Chopra is the only track and field Olympian from India to have earned a gold medal.
(Photo from Wikipedia)
Youth and Education:
In Haryana’s Khandra Panipat, Neeraj Chopra was born. His family is primarily involved in farming. Moreover, as of 2021, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab. He graduated from DAV College in Chandigarh. The Indian Army gave him a direct appointment with the rank of Naib Subedar as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Rajputana Rifles after being impressed by his performance at the South Asian Games. Eventually, he agreed to the offer and enlisted in the army through the sports quota.
Career of Neeraj Chopra:
Neeraj Chopra Tokyo Olympics 2022
On August 4th, 2021, Neeraj Chopra made his Olympic debut for India in the Japan National Stadium. With a throw of 86.65 meters, he won his preliminary round and advanced to the championship. Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian Olympian to earn a gold medal in athletics and the first Indian Olympian to win a medal in athletics since independence. This happened August 7 when he threw 87.58 meters in the Olympics. Evidently, Chopra also made history by being the second Indian to take home an Olympic gold medal. He dedicated his triumph to Milkha Singh and P. T. Usha, two former Indian Olympian sprinters.
2022 World Championships
Neeraj Chopra won himself a historic silver medal with his throw of 88.13 meters on his fourth try in the men’s javelin throw final in Oregon. India has only won two medals total at the World Athletics Championships, the other being a bronze in the long jump in 2003 won by Anju Bobby George.
On June 14, Neeraj Chopra returned to competition in a big way in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. He broke the previous national record and won the silver medal with a new personal best of 89.30m. With a throw of 89.94 meters at the Stockholm Diamond League, he broke his own personal best, finishing with the silver medal.
Rewards and Honours:
Neeraj Chopra was presented the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2021. On Republic day 2022 he was given a military honour with Param Vishisht Seva Medal. Further, on August 27, 2021, Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, renamed the Army Sports Institute stadium in the Pune cantonment “Neeraj Chopra Stadium.”