Neeraj Chopra: All you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist

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The National Anthem of India was played in the Tokyo Olympics for the first time after almost 13 years. All the credit goes to the 23-year-old Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.

Neeraj did something which no one has done for India in the Olympics before. He won an Individual Gold medal for India in Athletics in the Tokyo Olympics. The wait was finally over as an Indian athlete had won the gold medal.

Neeraj also joined Abhinav Bindra to win an Individual Olympic gold medal. Technically Neeraj has achieved something which no other Indian athlete has achieved since 1900, winning an Athletics medal in the Olympics .

According to the International Olympic Committee, Norman Pritchard represented India in the 1900 Paris Olympics and won 2 silver medals, one in 200 meters dash and the other in 200 meters hurdles.

Neeraj Chopra creates history

The impact of such a big historical event will stay for some time and will fade very slowly. In the finals, Neeraj started strongly with his first throw measuring 87.03 meters. However, his next throw measured even longer 87.58 meters. Neeraj’s third throw dipped a bit, measuring 76.79 meters.

After the first three throws, Neeraj was leading the rankings as he stood first. Then out of the 12 throwers, the top 8 were selected for the final as Neeraj comfortably made the cut.

The final eight threw the javelin thrice again. Although Neeraj’s fourth and fifth throws were no throw, still he was leading. By the time Neeraj’s final throw came, he already knew that he had achieved the gold. Still in his final throw, Neeraj threw the javelin 84.24 meters.

Neeraj Chopra, Six Sports

Eventually, the second throw of Neeraj was good enough to win him the gold. As none of the other players were able to breach the 87 meters mark, which Neeraj did in his first two throws itself.

It was certainly incredible how India was represented in the final event. India received a gold medal in Athletics for the first time in the Olympics. 

Here’s all you need to know about Neeraj Chopra the new Olympic gold medalist of India:

Name – Neeraj Chopra

Date of Birth – 24th December 1997

Age – 23 years

Birthplace – Panipat, Haryana

Sport – Javelin throw

Personal Best – 88.06 meters National Record

Major Achievements:

  • Gold medal in Tokyo Olympics
  • 2018 Asian Games Gold medal
  • 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medal
  • 2016 World Junior Champion
  • Junior World Record holder

Build-up to the Tokyo Olympics

In recent years, Neeraj Chopra has become India’s most important star player in track and field. Neeraj came into the limelight after winning the Junior World Championship in Poland in 2016 with his strong performance.

He broke the Junior World Record with a throw of 86.48 meters. Moreover, this throw of his was even further than the one which helped him win the Bronze in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 23-year-old further showed that he was fulfilling his potential with gold in both the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games in 2018. At Asian Games in Indonesia, he set a new National Record with a throw of 88.06 meters

Neeraj underwent surgery on his throwing arm in 2019. He missed the IAAF World Championship, the Diamond League and the Asian Championship while he was recovering.

In the National Championship, he was not allowed to participate even after recovering by the Athletic Federation of India as they wanted him to take more time to recover and heal.

At the ACNE League meeting in South Africa in 2020, Neeraj made a strong comeback after the surgery. He threw 87.86 meters and qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Neeraj, like most of the athletes, did not get a proper competition during the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year. However in March, he broke the National Record as he threw 88.06 meters in Patiala. It was his best throw of the whole season as well.

Neeraj’s early life

Neeraj belongs to Khandra village in Panipat, Haryana. He completed his studies at DAV College in Chandigarh. He was appointed as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army with the rank of Naib Subedar in 2016.

At present, he holds the rank of a Subedar. He had donated two lakh to PM Cares Fund last year, during the time of the pandemic.

Neeraj has certainly written his name in golden letters in India’s Olympics history. He will always be remembered as the first Indian to receive a gold medal in track and field events in the Olympics.

Certainly there is much more to come, as he is still 23 and would be looking to add more trophies to his cabinet. That’s certain with the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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