We have a new sensation in town – Neeraj Chopra, the poster boy of Indian Athletics. The 24 year old javelin thrower, who now has multiple records to his name, is on his way to becoming a global superstar.
Neeraj rose to fame after his performances in the Tokyo Olympics, World Athletics Championships and now recently, the Diamond League. So, who is Neeraj Chopra?
Let’s find out more about the feats of the nation’s newest sports star!
Neeraj Chopra was born Neeraj was born on 24th December 1997 in Khandra, Haryana. Apart from being a javelin thrower, he is a JCO in the Indian Army, who offered him a direct appointment in 2016. He started training at a young age in Panipat.
It is unknown to many but the javelin thrower was first interested in cricket. He took up sports in 2011 as he got inspired by watching people throw javelin in Haryana. He was an obese child and people used to tease him a lot in his childhood. His father later enrolled him into a local gymnasium. He was then enrolled in a gym where, Jaiveer Chaudhary, a Javelin thrower recognised his talent and became his first coach.
Neeraj was 13 year old at that time and after getting trained under the coach for a year, he was admitted to Tau Devi lal Sports Complex where is started training under a coach named Naseem Ahmed.
He has participated in many junior as well as senior competitions, breaking and creating many records along the way. He has broken the national record numerous times. Chopra has a personal best of 89.94 m, achieved in 2022 while participating in the Stockholm Diamond League. He has won gold at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships, World Junior Championships and South Asian Games and bagged silver in the Asian Junior Championships, prior to his achievements in the past one year.
He has been in red-hot form this year, winning medals across championships. He won gold in the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which was postponed to 2021, with a throw of 87.58 m. By doing so, he became the first Indian athlete to win gold in track and field in the Olympics and the first Indian to win an individual gold medal in the Olympics after Abhinav Bindra in 2008.
Then, in the 2022 World Athletics Championships, he bagged silver, while he won the Diamond League event in Lausanne with a throw of 89.08 m and qualified for the finals in Zurich, which he won and becoming the first Indian to win the Diamond Trophy. He has also qualified for the World Athletics Championships next year.
With so many medals in his kitty, Neeraj Chopra has already achieved a lot at such a young age. He has gold, silver, bronze and now a diamond. But he still has a lot more to achieve, such as – a 90 m throw, which is the gold standard in javelin throw. He has come close to this mark several times and getting it would be a great milestone for him as well as for the country.
Let us hope that he adds more medals to his already huge tally, brings many, many more laurels to the nation and makes us all proud. With this, I end this well deserved appreciation post for Neeraj Chopra, the face of Indian Athletics.