After clinching a gold at 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra achieved another historic feat on Sunday, becoming the first Indian athlete to win World Athletics Championships gold medal during the men's javelin throw final event in Budapest.
The javelin thrower got the deal done in his second attempt, launching the javelin to 88.17m at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, Hungary, to become India’s first-ever World Athletics Championships gold medalist. Neeraj's achievement marked a significant improvement from the 2022 edition of the Worlds, where he secured a silver medal.
The flamboyant athlete was born in Haryana's Panipat district. He completed his early education at BVN Public School in his hometown. He then went on to graduate from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh. According to the media reports he was pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar, Punjab in 2021.
Induction to Indian Army
Impressed with Chopra's performance at the South Asian Games and his future potential, the Indian Army offered him a direct appointment as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Rajputana Rifles with the rank of Naib Subedar. He accepted the offer and joined the army under sports quota.
Neeraj joined Sports Authority of India (SAI)
Chopra visited the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Panipat, where javelin thrower Akshay Choudhary from Ghaziabad practiced early talent in the winter of 2010. Observing Chopra's ability to achieve a 40-metre throw without training and impressed by his drive, Choudhary became his first coach.
Switched to Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Panchkula
After training under Choudhary for a year, the 13-year-old Chopra was admitted to the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula. The sports complex was then one of only two facilities in the state of Haryana with a synthetic runway. There, he trained under coach Naseem Ahmad, a running coach who made him train in long-distance running along with the javelin throw.
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