Neeraj Chopra is an international track and field athlete from India. Neeraj has achieved a lot at a very young age. In 2021 he represented India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and won the first Gold medal for India in the Javelin Throw event. After his successful Olympic campaign, Neeraj is ranked second in the International Rankings by World Athletics.
Along with his sports career, Neeraj serves in the Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO). Several world records were marked on his name in 2016 when he became the first Indian athlete to set a world record on his name by throwing a Javelin 86.48 m far at the world under-20 javelin throw event.
Neeraj was born on 24 December 1997 in Chandra village, Haryana. Neeraj is the only son of his parents, along with his two sisters. Neeraj's father is a professional farmer, and his mother is a housewife.
Neeraj completed his secondary education in his hometown, and then he shifted to Chandigarh to complete his graduation, where he graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College. In 2021, Neeraj was admitted to the Lovely Professional University in Punjab to pursue his Bachelor of Arts.
Like many other successful people, Neeraj also took inspiration from his weak point, where his friends teased him due to his obesity in childhood. Because of that, his father admitted him to a gymnasium and then joined a gym in Shivaji stadium of Panipat, where he saw the javelin throwers for the first time and got curious about it.
Later he started getting training, and for taking up his interest in the Javelin Throw in 2010, he gave the trials for admission in Sports Authority of India center. Luckily, he got recognized by famous javelin thrower Jaiveer Choudhary who decided to give training to Neeraj. Then, he joined other professional javelin throwers in Jalandhar for further training.
Neeraj won his first medal in a district championship, and for his further practice, he asked his father to permit for living in Panipat.
Beginning of International career
In 2013, Neeraj took part in his first international athletics event held in Ukraine as World Youth Championships. Here, Neeraj failed to bag any medal but took several learnings and experiences back with him, which he used in 2014 at the Youth Olympics Qualification, where he won the silver medal by a 70-meter throw. Then between 2014 to 2021, Neeraj won medals in several national and international level events.
Some of his most his recognized achievements during this time are as follows-
Journey to Olympic Gold
Neeraj's journey for gold was not so easy and straight as he faced several hurdles that stopped him from participating in Tokyo Olympics 2020. The biggest of all, which was also a hurdle for many other sportspeople, is no outdoors training facilities and permission during the covid-19 pandemic. Still, these problems could not distract Neeraj from his ultimate goal of winning an Olympic Gold Medal.
He resumed his training with the guidance of his Hohn from Germany, who himself is a world record holder, by throwing a javelin 104.80 m far. Hohn always kept Neeraj motivated and always worked on improving Neeraj throwing techniques.
Awards and Accolades
For his incomparable contributions in sports, Neeraj Chopra has been awarded many awards. Some of the most notable awards include the Padma Shri Award, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, and the Vishisht Seva Medal by the Indian Army.