Who is Neeraj Chopra, the javelin thrower behind India’s second-ever individual Olympic gold medal?
Neeraj Chopra, who has created history by becoming the second individual Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics, has broken a series of records and is receiving praise
Neeraj Chopra, who has created history by becoming the second individual Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics, has broken a series of records and is receiving praise from all across the country.
Now that the javelin thrower has shone light upon the sport and his massive achievement, one might wonder, who really is Neeraj Chopra? Where is he from? How did he reach this point of his sports career?
Well, we present to you ten unknown facts about this sports star:
1) Hailing from Panipat in Haryana, Neeraj comes from a humble farming family in the village of Khandra.
2) Neeraj is the second Indian athlete to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics. The record was previously created by shooter Abhinav Bindra in 2008.
3) Trivia about Neeraj’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020: He is the first Indian athlete to top the qualification in the men’s javelin throw with his first attempt of 86.65 meters in Group A at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
4) The list of achievements doesn’t end here! The athlete is also India’s first-ever javelin thrower to win a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta! He established a new Indian record of 88.06 meters when he won the gold medal at the Asian Games.
5) What’s more, Neeraj is the first Indian athlete to bag a gold medal at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World U-20 Athletics Championship in Poland in 2016, thereby setting a world junior record. Talk about being on a roll!
6) Did you know that Neeraj Chopra is a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army? Neeraj was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2018 and the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2021 for his meritorious service.
7) With such an amazing performance by an athlete (for which he deserves due credit), one might wonder who his coach is, right? Well, we have the answer here for you: Neeraj was trained at the grass-root level by Jai Chaudhary, the development level by late Garry Calvert and Uwe Hohn, and at the elite level by Dr Klaus Bartoneitz.
8) Moving on to other aspects of the athlete’s life, this insanely fit and strong athlete once used to be overweight and chubby when he was 12 years old, as hard as it might be to believe. He then rigourously worked to become fitter in his early teens.
9) Did you also know that Neeraj Chopra initially did not care for sports, and was actually forced by his parents to take it up as an activity at the age of 12? And now, we’re here!
10) Neeraj developed his passion for javelin throw after he saw some seniors practicing with it, and decided to try his hand at the sport.