Neeraj Chopra is a track and field athlete from India who is the reigning Olympic champion, silver medalist in the World Championship, and the Diamond League champion in Javelin throw.
He is the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in Men’s Javelin throw and a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army. Neeraj has also won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games, and the Asian Championships, among other prestigious events.
He holds the national record of 89.94 m, which he achieved at the Stockholm Diamond League in 2022. He is widely regarded as one of the best javelin throwers in the world and a role model for millions of Indians.
Neeraj Chopra Early Life and Education
Neeraj Chopra was born on 24 December 1997 in Khandra, a village in Panipat district of Haryana. He belongs to a farming family and has two sisters.
At a young age, he developed an interest in Javelin throw when he saw some seniors practicing at a nearby stadium. He trained under coach Naseem Ahmed at the Shivaji Stadium in Panipat, using bamboo sticks as javelins.
He later moved to Panchkula to train at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium under coach Jaiveer Singh. He also joined the DAV College in Chandigarh to pursue his education.
Neeraj Chopra made his mark on the national and international stage with impressive performances and records.
He won his first gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati, where he threw 82.23 m, breaking the game’s record.
He followed it up with another gold medal at the 2016 World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where he threw 86.48 m, setting a new world junior record and becoming the first Indian to win a world title in athletics.
He also qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics but could not participate due to a late visa issue.
In 2017, Neeraj Chopra won his first senior gold medal at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar. He threw 85.23 m, breaking the championship record.
He also participated in his first World Championships in London but failed to qualify for the final round. In 2018, he won two more gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and the Asian Games in Jakarta.
He threw 86.47 m and 88.06 m, setting new game records and becoming the first Indian to win both events. He also became the flag-bearer of India at the Asian Games opening ceremony.
In 2019, Neeraj Chopra suffered an elbow injury that required surgery and kept him out of action for most of the year. He missed several important competitions, including the World Championships in Doha and the Asian Championships in Doha.
He came back in early 2020 but soon faced another setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic that postponed many events, including the Tokyo Olympics. He continued to train at his base in Patiala under German coach Uwe Hohn and later Klaus Bartonietz.
In 2021, Neeraj Chopra qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.86 m at an event in Potchefstroom, South Africa. He also won a gold medal at an event in Lisbon, Portugal, with a throw of 83.18 m.
At the Tokyo Olympics, he created history by winning India’s first-ever gold medal in track and field with a throw of 87.58 m in his second attempt. He beat Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch (86.67 m) and Vitezslav Vesely (85.44 m) to clinch the top spot on the podium.
He became only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win an individual Olympic gold medal. Also, he received a Param Vishisht Seva Medal from President Ram Nath Kovind for his feat.
In 2022, Neeraj Chopra continued his stellar form by breaking his national record twice with throws of 89.30 m at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku and 89.94 m at the Stockholm Diamond League.
He also became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon with a throw of 88.13 m. He capped off his remarkable season by becoming the first Indian to win the Diamond League trophy with a throw of 88.44 m at the Zurich Final.
Impact and Contribution to Indian Sports and Society
Neeraj Chopra’s impact and contribution to Indian sports and society have been immense. He has inspired millions of young Indians to pursue their dreams and excel in their chosen fields.
His historic achievements have also brought glory and pride to the nation. Various institutions and authorities have honored him for his excellence and service. Some of his awards and honors include:
- Arjuna Award (2018) – India’s second-highest sporting honor
- Vishisht Seva Medal (2020) – A military award for distinguished service
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (2021) – India’s highest sporting honor
- Param Vishisht Seva Medal (2022) – The highest military award for peace-time service
- Padma Shri (2022) – The fourth-highest civilian award in India
Neeraj Chopra has also been appointed as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army with the rank of Subedar, which reflects his discipline and dedication.
Neeraj Chopra’s future goals and aspirations include:
- Breaking the 90-meter barrier.
- Defending his Olympic title in Paris 2024.
- Winning more medals for India on the global stage.
He also wants to promote javelin throw and athletics in India and encourage more youngsters to participate. He faces some challenges and opportunities ahead, such as maintaining his fitness and form, coping with the expectations and pressure, and competing with the best in the world.
Neeraj Chopra is one of the greatest athletes and personalities that India has ever produced. He has achieved remarkable feats in the javelin throw and made history for himself and his country.
He has shown his qualities and strengths as a champion, such as talent, hard work, perseverance, humility, and patriotism.
His inspiring story and actions have made a positive difference in many people’s lives. He deserves all the respect and admiration that he receives from his fans and peers. He is a true role model for India and the world.
Similar Essay Topics: Education, Famous Leaders, Sociology, Festival