Neeraj Chopra won Gold in the Men’s Javelin Throw final to win Independent India’s first medal in Athletics on Saturday.
121 years ago, when the Olympics started as a sideshow in a Paris fair, Norman Pritchard won a medal for India in Athletics, but IOA and IAAF are not in agreement whether that medal belongs to UK or India anyway.
“Realised my unfinished dream today after 37 years. Thank you, my son,” tweeted the legendary athlete PT Usha.
“Dad from above is crying in joy. His dream has come true. Crying as I write this message. Proud moment for India. Salute him for his determination and hard work. God bless. Jeev,” a short message sent by Milkha Singh’s son Jeev Milkha Singh showing a little of what this result means.
Neeraj Chopra’s Gold is also India’s second-ever individual Gold medal at the Olympics, after Abhinav Bindra in Shooting.
This is India’s 7th medal at Tokyo 2020, the best ever medal haul for India at a single edition of the Games.
Neeraj Chopra is from Khandra village, Panipat district, Haryana. A Junior Commissioned Officer of the Indian Army, Chopra completed his education from DAV College, Chandigarh.
In 2016, Neeraj won the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. During the tournament, Neeraj achieved a junior world record, which gained him recognition and fame among Indian sports fans.
He won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where he set a then new Indian national record of 88.06m, and was flag bearer at the opening ceremony. Neeraj Chopra has since broken his own record, throwing 88.07m at the Indian Grand Prix in 2021.
He also won gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, was 2016 IAAF World U20 champion, and set the world junior record, of 86.48m.
Event: Men’s Javelin Throw
Date of Birth: December 24, 1997
Home location: Panipat, Haryana
Training Base: SAI NSNIS Patiala
Current Training Base: Uppsala, Sweden
National Coach: Dr. Klaus Bartoneitz
– Gold Medal, Asian Games 2018
– Gold Medal, Commonwealth Games 2018
– Gold Medal, Asian Athletics Championships 2017
– Gold Medal, World U-20 Athletics Championships 2016
– Gold Medal, South Asian Games 2016
– Silver Medal, Asian Junior Championships 2016
– Current National Record Holder (88.07m 2021)
– Current World Junior Record Holder (86.48m 2016)