|Neeraj Chopra Quick Info|
|Date of Birth||December 24, 1997|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Neeraj Chopra is an Indian track and field athlete who specializes in the javelin throw event and has clinched the ‘Gold’ medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the 2017 Bhubaneshwar Asian Athletics Championships, the 2016 Guwahati/Shillong South Asian Games, and the 2016 Bydgoszcz World Junior Athletics Championships. He had also secured the ‘Silver’ medal at the 2016 Ho Chi Minh City Asian Junior Athletics Championships. In 2018, he was honored with the prestigious ‘Arjuna Award’, the 2nd-highest sporting honor of India.
Panipat, Haryana, India
Neeraj had graduated from the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh, a renowned institution that has produced more than 50 international-level sportspersons for India.
He had later joined the Lovely Professional University, a private university in Phagwara, Punjab. He had pursued a bachelor of arts degree there.
Track and Field Athlete
- Father – Satish Kumar (Farmer)
- Mother – Saroj Devi
- Siblings – Sangeeta (Sister), Sarita (Sister)
He is represented by Aman Shah, Manager and Booking Agent, JSW Sports, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
6 ft or 183 cm
80 kg or 176.5 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Rod Maratha descent.
- Toned physique
- Center-parted, wavy hair
- Often sports a light stubble
In 2021, Neeraj was seen in an ad for the Indian fintech company, CRED and Tata AIA Life Insurance.
Neeraj Chopra Facts
- He was obese as a child due to which his father had enrolled him in a local gym for which he had to cycle to and from 24 kilometers each day. He had later switched to a different gym in his hometown of Panipat. During this phase, he used to often visit the nearby center of the Sports Authority of India where his sporting talent was spotted by javelin thrower Jaiveer Choudhary. He had noticed Neeraj achieve a distance of 40 m with no prior experience and had instantly decided to coach him.
- At the 2016 Bydgoszcz World Junior Athletics Championships, he had set a world under-20 record with a throw of 86.48 m.
- He was the flag-bearer for India at the opening ceremony at the 2018 Asian Games, his debut appearance at the event.
- When he had won the ‘Gold’ medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, his debut appearance at the event, he had become the first Indian track and field athlete to achieve this feat. He was only the 2nd sportsperson to clinch an athletics medal of any color for India; after Norman Pritchard had won 2 ‘Silver’ medals way back at the 1900 Paris Olympics.
- He is also only the 2nd Indian sportsperson to win an individual ‘Gold’ medal at the Olympics after Abhinav Bindra had done so in the men’s 10 m air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- He had joined the Indian Army in 2016 and was serving in the 4 Rajputana Rifles unit as of August 2021, at the rank of ‘Subedar’, a rank of junior commissioned officer in the Indian Army.
- At the 2020 Republic Day honors, he was honored with the ‘Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)’, a decoration of the Indian armed forces that is awarded to recognize ‘distinguished service of a high order’ to all ranks of the Indian Armed forces.
- In September 2021, Neeraj was gifted a puppy named “Tokyo” by India’s first individual Olympics Gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra.
- In March 2022, Neeraj received the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honor.
- In June 2022, Neeraj broke his own national record at the Paavo Nurmi Games held in Finland. He won the silver medal at the event with 89.30 meters as the best throw. His previous national record was of 88.07 meters which he had set in March 2021.
- In June 2022, during Kuortane Games in Finland, Neeraj won his first Gold medal of 2022. His best throw was of 86.69 m in the contest.
- On June 30, 2022, Neeraj broke his own national record with 89.94 meters of best throw at the Stockholm Diamond League and with this, won the silver medal at the event. Anderson Peters had won the gold medal.
- In July 2022, Neeraj Chopra won a silver medal at World Athletics Championships by having the best throw of 88.13 m. By this, he created history as he became the first Indian to win a silver at this event. He is also the second Indian to win a medal at this event after Anju Bobby George won a bronze medal in the long jump in 2003.
- In July 2022, Neeraj missed the Commonwealth Games 2022 because of a groin injury that he incurred during World Athletics Championships. Hence, he was not able to defend his title.
- In August 2022, Neeraj Chopra finished first by registering the best throw of 89.08 m at the Lausanne Diamond League in Switzerland. With this, he became the first Indian to win the Diamond League Meeting title and created history.
- In September 2022, Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win the Diamond Trophy. With the best throw of 88.44 meters, he won the final of the Diamond League in Zurich, Switzerland, and prize money of $30,000.
- In late 2022, Neeraj admitted in an interview that he had gained weight after winning the gold medal in the Olympics in August 2021.
- In May 2023, Neeraj won the Doha Diamond League by a margin of 0.04 meters. He had recorded the best throw of 88.67 meters to win the title.
- In May 2023, Neeraj became the world’s No. 1 men’s javelin thrower and achieved his career-best rank.
- In May 2023, it was revealed that Neeraj had pulled out of the FBK Games after sustaining a muscle strain.
- In June 2023, he won his second Diamond League title of 2023 held in Lausanne, Switzerland. His best throw was 87.66 meters long which he recorded in his 5th attempt.
- In July 2023, Neeraj purchased a Range Rover Velar SUV for ₹93 lakhs in Karnal, Haryana. At that time, he also owned a Ford Mustang GT, Mahindra Thar, and Toyota Fortuner cars apart from other high-end cars.
- In August 2023, he qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024 by reaching the final of the World Athletics Championships 2023 with an 88.77 m throw.
- In August 2023, he won India’s first gold medal in World Athletics Championships in javelin throw with a best throw of 88.17 m. He won a prize money of $70,000 (INR 58 lakh at that time).
- In 2023, he finished 2nd at the Zurich Diamond League with a best throw of 85.71 meters. He lost the first spot by 0.15 meters to Jakub Vadlejch.
- In September 2023, Neeraj finished 2nd in the Diamond League final in Eugene, United States with a best throw of 83.80 metres. Jakub Vadlejch won the tournament with 84.24 meters of best throw.
Featured Image by Neeraj Chopra / Instagram