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Tokyo Olympics: Everything you need to know about Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra | Tokyo Olympics News

Tokyo Olympics: Everything you need to know about Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra | Tokyo Olympics News, the vie

For the first time since 2008, the Indian National Anthem was played out at the Olympics. And that’s thanks to a 23 year old javelin thrower – Neeraj Chopra.
Neeraj has done what no Indian athlete has ever managed to do before – win an athletics gold medal at the Olympics.

The wait for an Indian athlete to join Abhinav Bindra as an individual Olympic gold medallist is finally over.
How Neeraj Chopra sealed the Olympic gold with his second throw at the javelin finals
Neeraj has also done something, technically not achieved by any Indian athlete since 1900 – win an Olympics athletics medal. Norman Pritchad had won two silver medals, representing India in the 1900 Paris Olympics in the 200m dash and 200m hurdles. IOC still credits these medals to India.

Tokyo Olympics: Everything you need to know about Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra | Tokyo Olympics News, the vie

The enormity of this achievement will take some time to sink in for everyone. The 23 year old Neeraj began with a bang. His first throw was 87.03m. That was followed by a throw of 87.58m. His third attempt saw Neeraj throw the javelin 76.79m. With this he topped the standings out of 12 throwers and made the cut for the final 8, who threw thrice again.
Neeraj’s fourth throw was a no throw. This was followed by another no throw, but he still held on to the lead. By the time he came out for his 6th throw, he already had the gold medal in the bag. He still took the throw and registered a distance of 84.24m.

The gold medal winning throw was his second throw of 87.58m. Though, no one else went past the 87m mark, which Neeraj had crossed with his first throw.
What an incredible way for India to end their Tokyo Olympics campaign – saving the best for last.
Athletics is not a category where Indian athletes are counted amongst the big contenders. But Neeraj went into the Tokyo Olympics as a very big contender. And he has shown just why.

Here’s everything you need to know about new Indian Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra:
Name: Neeraj Chopra
Date of Birth: December 24, 1997
Age: 23
Birth Place: Panipat, Haryana
Sport/Event(s): Javelin throw
Personal Best: 88.07m (national record)
Major achievements:
* Gold medal in Tokyo Olympics
* 2018 Asian Games gold medal
* 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal
* 2016 World Junior champion
* Junior world record holder
Young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has established himself as the one of the brightest track and field stars from India in recent times. Chopra came into the limelight with a stunning gold medal at the 2016 Junior World Championships in Poland.
He broke the junior world record with a throw of 86.48m, which was even farther than the distance thrown to win the bronze medal a month later at the Rio Olympics.

The 23-year old made further strides with gold medal winning efforts at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018. At the Asiad in Indonesia (2018), he established a new national record with a throw of 88.06m.
In May 2019, Neeraj underwent elbow surgery on his throwing arm. He missed the IAAF World Championships, the Diamond League and the Asian Championships while recovering from the injury. He was expected to compete at the National Championships at the end of 2019, but the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) didn’t give him permission to compete, which in turn gave him more time to heal.
Neeraj though made an impressive comeback, post surgery, qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.86m at the ACNE League meeting in South Africa in January 2020.
Like all athletes the world over, Chopra too missed quality competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year. But he broke his own National record this year in March, throwing a distance of 88.07m in Patiala, which was also his season’s best throw.
Neeraj hails from Khandra village in Panipat, Haryana. He studied at the DAV College in Chandigarh.
In 2016, he was appointed as a junior commissioned Officer in the Indian Army as a Naib Subedar. He currently holds the rank of Subedar.
In March last year, Neeraj had donated Rs 2 lakh to the PM Cares fund for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neeraj Chopra has not just registered his name in the history books. He will always be remembered as an Olympic gold medallist.
And remember, he is just 23. Come Paris 2024 and he could well be in line to add another Olympic gold to his name.

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