Neeraj Chopra is known for his grit and determination as well as bringing laurels to the nation time and again. He hails from Haryana’s Khandra village and was on born 24 December 1997. But one day his eyes caught attention of few seniors throwing javelins at the stadium and got hooked to the sport. To get into the shape, he cut down on having fatty foods, in particular deep-fried items and sweets, it was an uphill task but he was determined to get into shape and do well in his newfound passion in his life. Panipat’s Shivaji Stadium didn’t he best of facilities, coaches or tracks as a result he relocated to the Athletics Nursery and started training at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula. Another reason to shift base was that Tau Devi Lal Stadium had a synthetic track and was visited by many national-level javelin throwers.
He first came into the limelight in the National Junior Athletics Championship in 2012 when he won the he gold medal and scored managed a record throw of 68.46 metres. This paved the way for many more splendid years in the sport. Though he struggled for some years but bounced to clinch gold at the IAAF World U20 Championships, where he managed a junior record throw distance of 86.48 metres.
This remarkable performance made Chopra the first-ever world-champion of the country, and helped put India on the map for javelin throw. His hard work paid dividend when Neeraj Chopra became India’s first ever javelin thrower to win a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games. He improved his Commonwealth Games performance of 86.47 metres with a throw of 88.06 metres at the Asian Games.
In May, 2019, Neeraj Chopra had undergone elbow surgery but he came back with a bang and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.86m at the Athletics Central North East Meeting League. India’s bright medal contender Neeraj Chopra once again rose the occasion today, when he qualified for the final of the javelin throw event at the Olympic Games. with a stunning first attempt of 86.65m. He kept India’s hopes alive of an elusive Olympic medal by qualifying into the finals with a superb throw of 86.65m that put him on the top of the Group A.
This is the first Olympics for the Star javelin thrower and made it to the final round in a few second which will be held on Saturday as he sent the spear well past the qualifying mark of 83.50m in his first attempt. The twenty-three-year-old performance will be one of the best performances by an Indian in the Olympics and gave tough competition to 2017 world champion Johannes Vetter of Germany. The 23-year-old spoke about facing Vetter ‘struggle’ in his first attempt was quoted saying “He is a world champion and a world class thrower but was struggling a bit so I thought, ‘conditions seem to be tough. It’s the first time we are competing at this hour. So that was another adjustment we had to make.”
He started day by doing stretches, ate a light breakfast and reached the stadium two hours before his event and was quoted saying. “There were nerves. I had tried to imagine what throwing at an Olympics would feel like but I was still a little nervous. But the moment I stepped on the track; all my nervousness was gone.”
Post the first warm-up throw, which fell below his expectations, there were some nervousness. Chopra ran hard and released the spear with all power he could generate to make his body ready for the main event. The javelin took off, went as high as the third tier of the stadium, suddenly dipped and fell way short. This was Chopra’s seventh best throw and third best of the season 2021.