By being the first and only track and field athlete from India to win an Olympic medal with his gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra has already scripted his name in history books. After shooter Abhinav Bindra, he is India’s second individual Olympic gold medalist.
Today (December 24) marks the 25th birthday of Neeraj Chopra, who brought honour to India by winning a gold medal in the men’s javelin throw at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. On his 25th birthday let’s take a look at the Indian Javelin star’s top records and achievements.
Who can forget August 7, 2021, Neeraj Chopra won his second individual gold medal from India and became the first track and field athlete to take home a medal at the Games. Neeraj achieved it at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 with a remarkable throw of 87.58 metres. He achieved prominence in a country where cricket is idolised.
World Junior Championships in Poland
When he threw 86.48 metres in the World Junior Championships in Poland, Neeraj Chopra grabbed attention. This was also the new U-20 World Record at the moment. With this performance, he made his presence known in the world of javelin, breaking the previous best mark of 84.69 metres held by Zigismunds Sirmais of Latvia.
Neeraj Chopra had an outstanding year after winning the gold medal. However, 2022 was equally as good. In the World Athletics competition, he took home the silver medal, and in the Diamond League, he came in second. His throw, which measured 89.94 metres and fell just shy of the coveted 90-meter mark, was the best to date. He finished second to Grenada’s Anderson Peters, who had thrown the ball 90.31 metres, in the race.
Last year at the World Championships, Neeraj Chopra made history by becoming only the second Indian and the first male track and field athlete to take home a medal. He finished second and won the silver medal, realising his aim of winning a World medal with a throw of 88.13 metres. Anju Bobby George won a bronze medal for India in the long jump competition before Neeraj.
Neeraj broke two of his own national records last year. He now holds the male javelin record thanks to a throw in the Stockholm Diamond League that measured 89.94 metres. This year, he intends to try to break the coveted 90-meter barrier, which is a sign of a capable javelin competitor.