Who Is Neeraj Chopra: Indian athlete, Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 javelin throw event on August 7. Chopra’s win brings India its first athletics gold medal not just in the Tokyo games but any Olympic games in the history of independent India.
Chopra became the second individual Olympic gold medal winner after rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra. “I wasn’t sure of the gold, but knew I had thrown my best,” Neeraj Chopra said after the win.
After keeping everyone on their toes during multiple long rounds, Chopra finally clinched the gold. His throw of 87.58 meters in second round sealed his position.
It feels unbelievable, proud moment for me and my country: Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra after winning gold medal at Tokyo Olympics
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 7, 2021
After winning the medal, Chopra dedicated it to late athlete Milkha Singh. He said, “I dedicate this medal to Milkha Singh. I hope he’s watching upon me from wherever he is.”Chopra’s parents told the media that they were confident that their son will win a medal at the Olympics.
His mother, Saroj Devi, shared with India Today that she will prepare churma for the athlete when he gets home.
Who Is Neeraj Chopra? : Olympic Gold Medallist
The recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) is an Indian track and field athlete and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army who competes in the javelin throw.
Born on December 24 1997, Neeraj Chopra hails from Khandra village, Panipat district in Haryana. He completed his education in Chandigarh. In 2016, he was appointed as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army with the rank of Naib Subedar.
The athlete won the 2016 World Athletics U20 champion and set the world under-20 record of 86.48 m. He is the first Indian athlete to ever win a World title in Track and Field at U-20.
Chopra bagged a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games where he set the Indian National Record. Not only this but he also won another gold in the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
However, he failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics, he came back with a bang and won yet another gold medal in Asian Athletic championships.
Climbing the ladder of success, Chopra made it to the list of Indian athletes to win a gold medal on their Commonwealth Games debut. He also became the first Indian to triumph in Javelin Throw at the Commonwealth Games.
The athlete has constantly strived towards success. This can be seen in the timeline of his career.
In May 2018, he again broke the national record at the Doha Diamond League. He is the only field athlete to be recommended by the AFI (The Athletics Federation of India) for the country’s highest sports award, the Arjuna Award.
On 27 August 2018, Neeraj won gold in the Men’s javelin throw at the 2018 Asian Games setting a new Indian national record, breaking his own previous record.
The sportsperson also won bronze with a performance of 86.79m in the Kuortane Games.
The Javelin thrower opened his international season of 2021 with a bang that earned him a gold medal at an event in Lisbon, Portugal.
On 4 August 2021, he qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics‘ Final in Men’s javelin throw.
Chopra had been touted as one of India’s strongest bets for an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
And that he proved it right by winning the historic gold medal.