In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra won the first gold medal for India. Let’s find out some interesting facts about him.
The 23-year-old athlete hails from the Khandra village in the Panipat district of Haryana and is currently serving as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army. Chopra became interested in javelin throwing after watching other throwers training in his hometown. He started in 2011. Chopra’s hero is Czech Javelin Thrower Jan Zelezny.
At the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, he won his first gold medal and is now the second person to win a gold medal for India in any individual games.
A world junior record was set when he competed in the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Unfortunately, he missed the cutoff date, making him ineligible for the 2016 Summer Olympics. At the 2017 Asian Athletic Championships, he won another gold with a throwing distance of 85.23 m. In 2018, he broke the national record with his 87.43m throw at the Doha Diamond League.
Chopra became the only track and field athlete to be nominated for the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award (India’s highest sports award) by the AFI (Athletics Federation of India) in 2018.
Chopra won the Arjuna Award after winning a gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018. During the Asian Games in 2018, he won gold by setting a new Indian National Record with a throw of 88.06m.