When a 20 year old lanky and highly charismatic man registered the national record of 88.06m in the Javelin throw and clinch the gold medal for India at 2018 Asian Games, the whole world witnessed the rise of ‘once in a generation’ talent, Neeraj Chopra. It is a very rare sight that a young Indian athlete dominates the track and field event to such an extent that, he surpassed the throws of what elite athletes were registering at the age of 20 by a great difference.
Thomas Rohler of Germany, the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist had a personal best Javelin threw of 80.79 m at the age 20. Another Javelin great, Julius Yego, the 2015 world champion and the Olympic silver medalist was throwing not more than 76m when he was Chopra’s age. This clearly indicates that by leaps and bounds, Chopra is on the path to become a sports icon sooner or later. Undeniably, he is the best hope of India for a gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj Chopra Early Life
Born in the puny village of Khandra, situated in Panipat district, Haryana, Neeraj Chopra steps into the sports by playing off cricket. Soon he discovered his love for Javelin throw and enrolled at SAI (Sports Authority of India). He is the son of a farmer. He has pursued his education from DAV College, Chandigarh.
Neeraj Chopra Career
At the advice of his uncle, In 2011, he started training for the Javelin throw at sports authority of India. Hard work at SAI training center paid off quickly and he got his first major sports breakthrough at the Junior Nationals in Lucknow in 2012. He threw national record-breaking distance of 68.46m and clinch the gold medal in the U16 category. In the year 2014, he also shattered the U18 national record as he registered a Javelin throw of whopping 76.50m. In the latter year, he also thrashed the U20 national record by throwing a jaw-dropping 81.04m.
It was in the year 2016, Neeraj Chopra steps on to the big stage and took the world by storm. At the IAAF U20 world championships, he clinches the gold medal and became the nation first ever world champion in any track and field event. He made a threw of staggering 86. 48 and broke the Junior and senior national records which catapulted him into the global stage.
One of the biggest roles in the Chopra sensational rise in the sports is of coach Garry Calvert. It was under the mentoring of Calvert, Chopra wins the accolades on the international platform. However, coach Garry Calvert resigned in April 2017 and Chopra had to train alone for 5 months. Later, the SAI roped German legend Uwe Hohn ( Only man in the history to throw a javelin 100m or more) to train Chopra and since then he has been improving expeditiously.
Undeniably, Neeraj Chopra is growing by leaps and bounds and making huge strides. He has already bagged a gold medal in Jakarta Asian games and now all eyes are set on the 2020 Olympics. He is the nation biggest hope to clinch first ever track and field gold medal in Olympics and he is on the way to getting there.
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