Neeraj chopra Net worth, Record, Md, Olympics, Height & More

Indian javelin thrower (born 1997)

Subedar
Neeraj Chopra
PVSM VSM

Chopra in December 2021
Personal information
Full name Neeraj Chopra
Born (1997-12-24) 24 December 1997 (age 24)
Khandra, Haryana, India
Education DAV College, Chandigarh
Height 182 m (6 ft 0 in)
Military career
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
Years of service 2016–present
Rank Subedar
Service number JC-471869A
Unit 4 Rajputana Rifles
Awards
  • Param Vishisht Seva Medal
  • Vishisht Seva Medal
Sport
Sport Track and field
Rank 2
Event(s) Javelin throw
Coached by
  • Uwe Hohn (2018–2021)
  • Klaus Bartonietz (2021–present)
Achievements and titles
World finals (2022)
Regional finals (2017)
Olympic finals (2020)
Highest world ranking 2 (achieved on 11 August 2021)
Personal best(s) NR 8994 m (2022)
Medal record
Men’s athletics
Representing  India
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 1
World Championships 1
Diamond League 1
Asian Games 1
Commonwealth Games 1
Asian Championships 1
South Asian Games 1
World Junior Championships 1
Asian Junior Championships 1
Total 7 2 0
Olympic Games
2020 Tokyo Javelin throw
World Championships
2022 Eugene Javelin throw
Diamond League
2022 Zürich Javelin Throw
Asian Games
2018 Jakarta Javelin throw
Commonwealth Games
2018 Gold Coast Javelin throw
Asian Championships
2017 Bhubaneshwar Javelin throw
South Asian Games
2016 Guwahati/Shillong Javelin throw
World Junior Championships
2016 Bydgoszcz Javelin throw
Asian Junior Championships
2016 Ho Chi Minh City Javelin throw
Updated on 9 September 2022

Neeraj Chopra (born 24 December 1997) is a track and field athlete from India He is the reigning Olympic champion, Silver medalist in the World Championship, and the Diamond League champion in Javelin throw He is the most decorated athlete of India and the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in Men’s Javelin throw A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army, Chopra is the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics He is also the first track and field athlete from India to win at the IAAF World U20 Championships, where in 2016 he achieved a world under-20 record throw of 8648 m, becoming the first Indian athlete to set a world record

Chopra participated in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games, serving as the flag-bearer in the latter and winning gold medals in both In his debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj won the gold medal with a throw of 8758 m in his second attempt As of 2021, he is one of only two Indians to have won an individual Olympic gold medal (the other being Abhinav Bindra), as well as the youngest-ever Indian Olympic gold medalist in an individual event, and the only one to have won gold in his Olympic debut

On 14 June 2022, at the Paavo Nurmi Games, he registered new national record of 8930m in Turku, Finland, Chora eventually beat his own record by reaching 8994m at Stockholm Diamond League in Sweden on 30 June 2022

On 23 July 2022, Chopra won a Silver medal in 2022 World Athletics Championships with a throw of 8813m, making him the second Indian to win a medal at World Athletics Championships after Anju Bobby George, who won Bronze medal in Women’s Long Jump at 2003 World Athletics Championships

Early life and education

Neeraj Chopra was born in a Ror family in Khandra Panipat, Haryana He has two sisters and his family is largely involved in agriculture He did his schooling from BVN Public School He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh, and as of 2021, is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts from Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab

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

Athletics career

Early training

After local children teased him about his childhood obesity, Chopra’s father enrolled him in a gymnasium at Madlauda; he was later enrolled in a gym in Panipat While playing at Shivaji stadium in Panipat, he saw some javelin throwers and began participating himself

Chopra visited the Panipat Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre, where javelin thrower Jaiveer Choudhary recognised his 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 Chopra learned the basics of the sport from Choudhary and a few more experienced athletes who had trained under a javelin coach in Jalandhar He soon won his first medal, a bronze in the district championships, and then persuaded his family to allow him to live in Panipat while developing his abilities

Chopra receiving the Arjuna Award from Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, on 25 September 2018

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 As Panchkula lacked a specialized javelin coach, he and fellow javelin thrower Parminder Singh downloaded videos of the Czech champion Jan Zelezny and attempted to copy his style While initially at Tau Devi, Chopra typically achieved throws of around 55 metres, but soon increased his range, and in the National Junior Athletics Championships in Lucknow on 27 October 2012, won gold with a new national record throw of 6840 metres

International beginnings

In 2013, Neeraj Chopra entered his first international competition, the World Youth Championships in Ukraine He won his first international medal in 2014, a silver at the Youth Olympics Qualification in Bangkok He achieved his first throw of over 70 metres at the 2014 senior nationals

In 2015, Chopra broke the previous world record in the junior category, throwing 8104 metres in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics meet; this was his first throw of over 80 metres

Chopra finished fifth at the 2015 National Games in Kerala, and received a callback for the national-level training camp as a result, leaving Panchkula in 2016 to train at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala According to Chopra, his inclusion in the national camp marked a turning point in his career, as he received better facilities, a better quality diet and an improved standard of training from that available at Panchkula According to him, training with national level javelin throwers boosted his morale Chopra was also assigned his first dedicated javelin coach, 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kashinath Naik, but found Naik’s training regimen too difficult and resumed training on his own after a month and a half

2016 – 2018

At the 2016 South Asian Games, Chopra achieved a new personal best during the athletics finals in Guwahati on 9 February, winning gold with a throw of 8223 meters, though falling short of the 83-meter Olympic qualifying mark He also began training under Australian coach Gary Calvert that month Chopra won a gold medal in the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland and set a world junior record of 8648 m, becoming the first Indian athlete to achieve a world record, at the same time setting a new national record Although his U20 record surpassed that of defending Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott, Chopra failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics as the cut-off date had been 11 July, the week before the U20 championships His preparations for Rio had also been hampered by a back injury sustained in April 2016 during the Federation Cup in New Delhi, which had noticeably affected his performance in competition

Chopra at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar

In September 2016, he left the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports to train at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bangalore He was formally inducted as a JCO in December 2016, and subsequently received extended leave to continue his training

Chopra won a gold medal in the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha

Chopra won gold in the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships with a throw of 8523 metres He then went to London in August for the World Championships, but was eliminated before reaching the finals On 24 August, Chopra suffered a significant groin injury in the finals of the Zurich Diamond League, sustaining the injury during his third attempted throw, in which he attained a distance of 8339 meters; owing to the injury, he fouled his fourth attempt and skipped his last two allowed attempts His first and best throw of 8380 meters gave him a seventh-place finish As a result, he withdrew from competition for the remainder of 2017 After recovering from his injury, which he partly attributed to a heavy competition schedule and the lack of a proper diet and rest, Chopra spent a month at the Joint Services Wing sports institute in Vijayanagar He then left for Offenburg, Germany in November to train for three months with Werner Daniels, whom he had briefly worked with before the 2017 World Championships His former coach Calvert had left India in May due to disputes over his contract During his stay in Offenburg, Chopra focused on strength training and honed his technique with Daniels’ guidance, adjusting his stance and improving his range by keeping his hand raised higher during throws

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, congratulating Neeraj Chopra (second from right), gold medallist in javelin throw, and Gaurav Solanki, gold medallist in boxing, for their performance in the 2018 Commonwealth Games

In the men’s javelin throw at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he registered a season-best effort of 8647 metres, becoming the first Indian to win the javelin throw at the Commonwealth Games In May 2018, he again broke the national record at the Doha Diamond League with a throw of 8743 metres

In August 2018, Chopra made his debut at the Asian Games representing India, and was also the flag-bearer for the Indian contingent during the 2018 Asian Games Parade of Nations On 27 August, he threw a distance of 8806 m to win gold in the Men’s javelin throw at the 2018 Asian Games and bettered his own Indian national record It was also India’s first gold medal in the javelin throw at the Asian Games Chopra was the only track and field athlete that year to be recommended by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the country’s highest sports award, the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna, but was awarded the Arjuna Award in September 2018 He was further rewarded by the army with an out-of-turn promotion to subedar in November

In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, subsequently postponed to 2021, Chopra trained with guidance from his German coach Uwe Hohn, biomechanics expert Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist Ishaan Marwaha During 2018 – 2019, Hohn improved Chopra’s throwing technique, which earlier was “wild” according to Hohn

Injury and recovery

Chopra missed the 2019 World Championships in Doha due to bone spurs in his right elbow, undergoing surgery in Mumbai on 3 May 2019, the day after the qualifying competitions for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had begun After a period of recuperation, involving meditation and rehabilitative training at Patiala and the Inspire Institute of Sport at Vijayanagar, Chopra travelled to South Africa in November 2019 for training under German biomechanics expert Klaus Bartoneitz Previously, he had been coached by Gary Calvert and Werner Daniels

After a 16-month hiatus, Chopra returned to international competition in January 2020 with a winning throw of 8786 metres in the Athletics Central North West League Meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa, which as a distance of over 85 meters qualified him for the Tokyo Olympiad

After South Africa, Chopra travelled to Turkey for training, but was forced to return to India in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic Owing to the pandemic and lockdown in India, Chopra spent the next year training at the NIS Patiala In late 2020, the Athletics Federation of India and the Odisha state government aided the national javelin team by arranging a training camp at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, which Chopra attended from December 2020 through February 2021

On 5 March 2021, Chopra again broke his own national record with a throw of 8807 m, which ranked him third-best internationally

Owing to the pandemic, Chopra’s visa application to travel to Sweden for training was rejected After weeks of attempting to secure a visa, which Chopra described as frustrating, he was cleared to travel to Europe with his coach following the intervention of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of External Affairs He flew to Paris on 5 June 2021 for a mandatory quarantine period before travelling to Portugal for the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa He opened his international season of 2021 there with a throw of 8318 metres, which earned him a gold medal Chopra remained in Lisbon until 19 June before travelling to Uppsala, Sweden with his coach for further training, which was sanctioned by the Sports Authority of India at a cost of 3485 lakh (US$44,000)

He went on to compete in the Karlstad Meet in Sweden in June 2022, where he achieved a gold with a sub-par throw of 8096 m before winning a bronze in the Kuortane Games in Finland with a throw of 8679 m The 24-year-old won the gold medal with a throw of 8669m his first and only legal throw He attributed his reduced performance in Finland to a tendency to throw higher than he wanted, along with having to use a different javelin as his own was unavailable Following the Kuortane Games, Chopra travelled to Lucerne to compete in the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern but decided to withdraw due to fatigue He attempted to secure a visa for the United Kingdom to enter the Diamond League at Gateshead on 13 July, but faced difficulties due to the pandemic and instead continued training and honing his technique in Uppsala

2020 Tokyo Olympics

See also: Athletics at the 2020 Summer Olympics – Men’s javelin throw

On 4 August 2021, Chopra made his debut at the Olympics, representing India in the Japan National Stadium He topped his qualifying group for entry to the final with a throw of 8665 metres

Chopra won the gold medal in the final on 7 August with a throw of 8758 m in his second attempt, becoming the first Indian Olympian to win a gold medal in athletics, and the first post-independence Indian Olympic medalist in athletics

Chopra’s medal gave India a final total of seven medals at the game, surpassing the country’s previous best performance of six medals earned at the 2012 London Olympics As a result of his performance in Tokyo, Chopra became the second-ranked athlete internationally in the men’s javelin throw

Chopra also became the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal after Abhinav Bindra, who won the gold medal in men’s 10 m air rifle in the 2008 Summer Olympics He dedicated his win to sprinters Milkha Singh and P T Usha, both former Olympians from India

According to some historians, Chopra is the first Olympic medalist in track and field for India, but this status is disputed Both the International Olympic Committee and Indian Olympic Association officially recognise Norman Pritchard to have been the first Indian track and field Olympic medalist, having competed at the 1900 Paris Olympics, even though India was under British rule at that time

2022

Neeraj Chopra in Bauhaus Galan Stockholm, 2022

At the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland on June 14, Chopra won the silver medal with a new personal best of 8930m and registered the new national record

He broke his own national record with a throw of 8994 m in the Stockholm Diamond League; though he finished to achieve silver medal in the competition

In year 2022, Chopra With his throw of 8813m on his fourth attempt in the men’s javelin throw final in Oregon, Neeraj Chopra ensured himself a historic silver medal This is India’s only second medal at the World Athletics Championships after long-jumper Anju Bobby George’s bronze in 2003

He opted out from 2022 commonwealth games due to an injury

On August 26, 2022, he won first place at the Lausanne Diamond League meet with a throw of 8909m, and qualified for the Zurich Final and 2023 World Athletics Championships, Budapest in Hungry

On September 8, 2022, Neeraj Chopra won the 2022 Diamond League final in Zürich, with a best throw of 8844m He became the first Indian to do so

International competitions

  • NR−National Record
  • WJR−World U20 Junior Record
  • q−Qualification Round
Representing  India
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2013 World Youth Championships Donetsk, Ukraine 19th (q) Javelin throw (700 g) 6675 m
2015 Asian Athletics Championships Wuhan, China 9th Javelin throw 7050 m
2016 South Asian Games Guwahati, India Javelin throw 8223 m
Asian Junior Athletics Championships Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Javelin throw 7760 m
World Athletics U20 Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland WJR Javelin throw 8648 m
2017 Asian Grand Prix Series Jinhua, China Javelin throw 8211 m
Jiaxing, China 8332 m
Taipei, Taiwan 7990 m
Asian Athletics Championships Bhubaneswar, India Javelin throw 8523 m
Diamond League Paris, France 7th
(10 pts)
Javelin throw 8467 m
Fontvieille, Monaco 7892 m
Zurich, Switzerland 8380 m
World Athletics Championships London, United Kingdom 15th (q) Javelin throw 8226 m
2018 Offenburg Speerwurf Meeting Offenburg, Germany Javelin throw 8280 m
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia Javelin throw 8647 m
Diamond League Doha, Qatar 4th
(17 pts)
Javelin throw 8743 m
Eugene, Oregon, USA 8081 m
Rabat, Morocco 8332 m
Zurich, Switzerland 8573 m
Sotteville Athletics Meet Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France Javelin throw 8517 m
Savo Games Lapinlahti, Finland Javelin throw 8569 m
Asian Games Indonesia NR Javelin throw 8806 m
2020 Athletics Central North West League Meeting
(qualifying event for Summer Olympics)
Potchefstroom, South Africa (q) Javelin throw 8786 m
2021 Meeting Cidade de Lisboa Lisbon, Portugal Javelin throw 8318 m
Folksam Grand Prix Sweden Javelin throw 8096 m
Kuortane Games Kuortane, Finland Javelin throw 8679 m
Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan Javelin throw 8758 m
2022 Paavo Nurmi Games Turku, Finland NR Javelin throw 8930 m
Kuortane Games Kuortane, Finland Javelin throw 8669 m
Diamond League Stockholm, Sweden NR Javelin throw 8994 m
World Athletics Championships Eugene, United States Javelin throw 8813 m
Diamond League Lausanne, Switzerland Javelin throw 8908 m
Wanda Diamond League Final Zürich, Switzerland Javelin Throw 8844 m

Seasonal bests by year

Year Date Performance Place
2013 26 July 6966 metres Patiala, India
2014 17 August 7019 meters
2015 31 December 8104 meters
2016 23 July 8648 metres WJR Bydgoszcz, Poland
2017 2 June 8563 metres Patiala, India
2018 27 August 8806 metres Jakarta, Indonesia
2020 28 January 8786 meters South Africa
2021 5 March 8807 metres Patiala, India
2022 30 June 8994 metres Stockholm, Sweden

Awards and recognition

Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Honourable President of India presenting the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, 2021 to Shri Neeraj Chopra

Ribbon bar

Param Vishisht Seva Medal Padma Shri Vishisht Seva Medal 75th Independence Anniversary Medal

National awards

  • Arjuna Award – 2018
  • Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) – 2020 Republic Day honours
  • Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award – 2021 (highest sporting honour of India)
  • Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) – 2022 Republic Day honours
  • Padma Shri (fourth highest civilian honour) – 2022 Republic Day honours

Other

  • Army Sports Institute (ASI) stadium of Pune cantonment renamed “Neeraj Chopra Stadium” by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 27 August 2021
  • Switzerland Tourism appointed Neeraj Chopra as its Friendship Ambassador

Notes

See also

  • Athletics in India
  • Javelin throw at the Olympics
  • Sport in India – overview of Sports tradition in India
  • India at the Olympics
  • Athletics Federation of India, highest governing body of Athletics in India
  • India at the 2020 Summer Olympics

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