Neeraj Chopra: Victory of determination, Discipline and Valour

A boy who once struggled with obesity has won India’s first ever Gold in Athletics for Javelin Throw. His determination towards his goal was unshakeable.

Neeraj chopra was born in 1997. He competes in the Javelin Throw. In the Indian Army, he is a Junior Commissioned Officer.

Neeraj Chopra was born to Satish Kumar and Saroj Devi in a small village in Haryana. He has also completed his graduation.

The 23 year old won India’s first ever Gold in Athletics for Javelin Throw. He also became only the 2nd individual Gold Medalist for the country.

When he was a child, he struggled with obesity. Children used to tease him. His father enrolled him in a gymnasium so that he could lose some weight. His uncle suggested that he take up some sport for physical fitness.

One day he was playing at Shivaji Stadium, Panipat when he saw some javelin throwers throwing javelin. He got inspired and encouraged to start the javelin throw. He began playing the sport. He won medals at junior level, state level and then national level.

He also visited the Sports Authority of India Center at Panipat. Jaiveer Choudhary, who is also a javelin thrower recognised his talent and became his coach. He trained under Choudhary for one year. After that he joined Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula. Coach Naseem Ahmad trained him.

Initially he achieved throws around 55 metres. He worked hard and increased his range. In the  National Junior Athletics Championships, 2012 in Lucknow, he won gold with a new national record throw of 68.40 metres. He entered his first international competition in 2013 which was the World Youth Championships in Ukraine.

He won a silver at the Youth Olympics Qualification in 2014, Bangkok. It was his first international medal. At the 2014 senior nationals, he achieved his first throw of over 70 metres. In the All India Inter-University Athletics Meet, 2015, he made a world record throw.

Chopra received a callback for the national-level training camp in 2015, leaving Panchkula in 2016 to train at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala.  With a throw of 84.23m, he won a gold medal at the South Asian Games, 2016.

Chopra won a gold medal in the IAAF World U20 Championships, 2016  in Bydgoszcz, Poland and set a world junior record of 86.48 m. He became the first Indian athlete to achieve a world record. The Indian Army was impressed with his stunning performance and offered him the post of Junior Commissioned Officer.

He went to train at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bangalore in 2016. With a throw of 85.23 metres, he won gold in the Asian Athletics Championships, 2017. In 2018, he became the first Indian to win the javelin throw at the Commonwealth Games.

In 2018, he was awarded the Arjuna Award. Recently, Neeraj made his debut at the Olympics. He represented India at the Summer Olympics, 2020. Chopra won the gold medal becoming the first Indian Olympian to win a gold medal in athletics, and the first post-independence Indian Olympic medalist in athletics.

At mere 23 years of age, he has made the entire country proud. His victory is a symbol of hard work, determination, consistency and discipline. He has become an inspiration and role model for the youth.