Neeraj Chopra: The Life Story of an Olympic Gold Medalist

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The Golden Boy of India, Neeraj Chopra acquired this name after historically winning his Olympic gold medal in Javelin and becoming the first Indian and Asian Olympian to win a gold medal in athletics. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was auspicious for every Indian as our javelin representative won the gold medal with a throw of 87.58 m in his second attempt. This feat positioned him as the second-ranked athlete internationally in the men’s javelin throw.

Born 24th of December, 1997, Neeraj Chopra hails from Khandra, Haryana. He completed his education in Chandigarh and Jalandhar. Hailing from a joint family of 17 members, Chopra was under pressure to lose weight. His father Satish Kumar Chopra took the initiative to discipline a mischievous Neeraj. His uncle took him to Panipat Shivaji Stadium which was around 14 km from his village. At 14, he joined the sports nursery at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula.

He was appointed as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Rajputana rifles with the rank of Naib Subedar after his performance at the South Asian Games. He has a list of awards and honors in his name like the highest sporting honor of India, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, and the esteemed Arjuna Award. Apart from this, he is also the recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, and the fourth highest civilian honor i.e., Padma Shri.

Neeraj Chopra broke his national record at the Stockholm Diamond League with a throw of 89.94m in July of 2022. In May of 2023. He achieved the first position in the men’s javelin throw rankings issued by World Athletics. He qualified for the 2023 World Championship on 8th September by a throw of 88.44m. 

Neeraj Chopra injured his groin in the 2017 Zurich Diamond League Championship. In 2019, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow. 

Neeraj Chopra Asian Games

Neeraj Chopra debuted at the Asian Games in 2018. Before that, he had participated in the 2015 Asian Championships and positioned 9th with a throw of 70.50m. In 2016, he participated in the Asian Under 20 Championship and won a silver medal with a throw of 77.60m. In the same year, he secured the first position in the World U20 Championship with a throw of 86.48m. He won the 2017 Asian championships with an 85.23m throw. In 2018, he participated in the Asian Games for the first time and acquired a gold with a throw of 88.06m. In 2023, he returned to the Asian Games and acquired first place with a throw of 88.88 m.

Neeraj Chopra Lausanne Diamond League Meet 2022

2022 marked the year when Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian Victor of a Diamond League meet. He threw the javelin at an impressive distance of 89.08 meters. This exceptional display secured his spot in the Diamond League Final and earned him qualification for the World Athletics Championship in 2023.

Neeraj Chopra Diamond League Zurich 2022

He became the first Indian to secure the Diamond League Trophy after the Zurich Diamond League final in 2022. The Golden Boy of India, threw the javelin at a distance of 88.44 meters, securing his victory over Jakub Vadlejch.

Neeraj Chopra Zurich Diamond League

Neeraj Chopra qualified for the Diamond League finals by winning the Diamond League Meetings in Doha on 5th May 2023 and Lausanne on 30th June. After this feat, he went on to win a historic gold medal in the World Championship in Budapest with a throw of 88.17 m. Neeraj Chopra came in second to Vadlejch with an 85.22-meter throw in his fourth attempt. 

Neeraj Chopra was trained by the legendary coach Garry Calvert who passed away in 2018. He has also been trained by German Uwe Hohn who is a retired coach.

Despite Cricket being the hype in India, Neeraj Chorda has received a lot of love from his Nation and expresses his gratitude towards the same. He is often found expressing how blessed he feels for the immense support shown by the country. He is one of the most popular sportspersons in India today. Growing up in a village in Haryana called Khandra, he did play cricket briefly in his childhood. He gives strong competition to the god-like figures of cricket regarding popularity. 

Arjun Singh Kadian, an academic and policy professional based in Panipat, authored Neeraj Chopra’s Biography From Panipat to Podium in 2022. The book sheds light on Neeraj’s life journey.

Neeraj Chopra’s journey has been nothing but inspirational. From a chubby kid in a small Indian village to becoming the world champion, Neeraj Chopra has set an example for millions of Indian Kids hailing from simple middle-class families.

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