Neeraj Chopra Bio: He was born and raised in Chandra village of Panipat. Like many Haryana athletes, he too joined Javelin throw at a very young age and his sporting heroics landed him in the Indian army where he is a junior commissioned officer. He joined the army at the tender age of 19 and started practicing for Javelin throw at the Army Sports Institute. He came to the limelight after he won the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Poland.
He also created the junior world record in the process and became one of India’s best track and field event athletes. He then represented India at the Asian Games in 2018 and won the Gold Medal. At the Asian games, he was just 20 years old and created a national record of 88.06 meters. Besides, Asian Games, he won three more gold medals in 2018 that also includes the Common Wealth Gold medals.
For his heroics in 2018, he was awarded the Arjuna Award and received special treatments not just from the Indian Army but from various other sporting organizations in India as they backed him to bring India’s first Olympic medal in the Olympics. He failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympic games but worked even harder to make sure, he makes the cut for the Tokyo Olympics. He was assigned the world’s best Javelin throw coach, Uwe Hohn, who has been working closely since 2018. He has worked on his techniques and skills as he is not the fittest when it comes to throwers.
The coach took him to various different locations so that he could practice with the bests and be ready for the Olympics. He suffered an elbow injury and it was a long layoff before he finally came back to the scene. In the 2021 Grand Prix in Patiala, he bettered his overall best throw of 88.06m with 88.07m, and immediately after that SAI (Sports Authority of India) was sent to Sweden.
He also skipped the London’s, Diamond league event and continued with his practice. He joined the Indian contingent in Tokyo late but came well prepared. He created history at the Olympics by beating the best in the business to clinch Gold. He was awarded 6 crores for his gold by the Haryana government and 75 lakhs by the government of India. More prices will come his way, once he comes back from Tokyo. Subedar Neeraj Chopra has made the whole of India proud and is thus far the only Olympian after Abhinav Bindra to win an individual gold for India.
Things You May Not Know About the Star Javelin Thrower
- He took up Javelin’s throw after watching many young Javelin throwers in his hometown.
- He is a huge admirer of star Javelin thrower Jan Zelenzy of the Czech Republic.
- He missed the Olympic 2016 even after winning the junior IAAF World Cup, as he missed the deadline.
- He was proposed for the highest sporting honor Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2018 but was denied.
- He finally won the Major Dhyan Chand Award in 2021 after winning the Gold at Tokyo Olympics.