|Profession(s)||Javelin Thrower and Junior Commissioned Officer|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Hindustan Times Height||in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.80 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 11”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 86 kg
in pounds- 189 lbs
|Coach(es)/Mentor(s)||• Gary Calvert
• Naseem Ahmad
• Klaus Bartonietz
• Werner Daniels
• Uwe Hohn (personal coach)
• Raj Kumar (army coach)
• 2016: South Asian Games in Guwahati, India
• 2016: World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland
• 2017: Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, India
• 2018: Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia
• 2018: Sotteville Athletics Meet in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France
• 2018: Savo Games in Lapinlahti, Finland
• 2018: Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia
• 2021: Tokyo Olympics 2020
• 2016: Asian Junior Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
• 2017: Asian Grand Prix Series in Jinhua, China
• 2017: Asian Grand Prix Series in Jiaxing, China
• 2018: Offenburg Speerwurf Meeting in Offenburg, Germany
• 2017: Asian Grand Prix Series in Taipei, Taiwan
|Records||• 2018: National Record of 88.06m mark at the Asian Games NDTV Sports
• 2021: National record of 88.07m mark at the Indian Grand Prix India Today
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• 2017: Hindustan Times Top 30 under 30 awarded by Captain Amarinder Singh
• 2018: Arjuna Award
• 2020: Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)
• 2021: Sportstar ACES Award- Sportsman of the Decade (Track and Field)
• 2021: Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award
• 2022: Padma Shri (Sports)
• 2022: On 2nd February, he was nominated for the prestigious Laureus 'World Breakthrough of the Year' award, making him only the third Indian to fetch a Laureus nomination after cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and wrestler Vinesh Phogat. The Hindu
|Date of Birth||24 December 1997 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||24 Years|
|Birthplace||Khandra Village, Panipat District, Haryana|
|Hometown||Khandra Village, Panipat District, Haryana|
|College/University||• DAV College, Chandigarh
• Kurukshetra University, Haryana
|Educational Qualification||Graduation (correspondence) The Times of India Hindustan Times|
|Ethnicity||Ror Maratha Hindustan Times|
|Food Habit||Vegetarian turned Non-vegetarian Hindustan Times|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Satish Kumar Chopra (works as a farmer)
Mother- Saroj Devi
|Siblings||Sister(s)- Sangeeta and Sarita
|Javelin Thrower||Jan Zelezny|
|Singer(s)||Rajender Kharkia and KD|
|Film||Rocky series, Laal Rang (2016)|
|Actor||Akshay Kumar, Randeep Hooda|
|Virtual Game(s)||Javelin Master 2, Brothers in Arms, and Asphaltate|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Neeraj Chopra
- Neeraj Chopra is an Indian athlete who represents India in the javelin throw. He is ranked as Junior Commissioned Officer (Subedar) in the Indian Army.
- He lives in a joint family with more than 17 other members in Panipat, Haryana. In his childhood, he used to be a chubby kid and used to wear a white kurta-pyjama. His village people used to call him Sarpanch. Amar Ujala
- In an interview, when he was asked how he developed an interest in the javelin, he replied,
As an obese child, at the age of 11, I weighed 80 kilos. To get into shape, I visited the Panipat Stadium during vacations. My pocket money was about Rs 30 and many days I didn’t even have money for a glass of juice. I travelled by bus for about 17 kilometres to reach the stadium and returned with my uncle who worked in Panipat city. Although I was running to shed weight, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I used to stand at some distance and watch my senior Jaiveer, who has represented Haryana in javelin, practice. One day, at his behest, I tried the javelin. I discovered I could throw it far and the realisation helped me regain my self-esteem.”
- In an interview, Neeraj shared that his family and village people supported him, and his uncle Bheem Singh encouraged him to make his career in the javelin. He further talked about the lack of facilities in his village for a sportsperson. He said,
I left home when I was 14, owing to a lack of facilities. My formal education was disturbed after class 9. My dream is that villagers need not shift to a city the way I shifted to Panchkula. Athletes from Haryana are winning at the national, international and Olympics level but my village still does not have a playground. Whenever I stay there, I need to practice on the road. If we are to become an Olympian nation, every village should have a stadium and get coaches from the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, where I now train.”
- During an interview, Neeraj’s father shared that Neeraj was a mischievous kid. He further said,
As a child, Neeraj used to twist the tails of buffaloes. Sometimes he used to harass the elderly by bursting crackers. The whole family was troubled by his words. Feeling proud to see a star adorned on my son’s shoulder. His father Satish Kumar said they had a joint family of 17. Neeraj was their eldest son. During his gym sessions in Panipat, Neeraj started visiting Shivaji Stadium. It was there that he came in contact with javelin thrower Jaiveer from Binjhol.”
- Neeraj started his training in the javelin at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Panchkula, Haryana, and due to lack of proper facilities, he continued his training at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, Haryana.
- During an interview, Neeraj shared that his senior Jaiveer Choudhary was the first person to recognise Neeraj’s skills and talent as a javelin thrower and helped him in his training. He further said,
There were very few facilities to practise javelin in Panipat, the least of them the mud track that we ran on. When I decided to resume training seriously, I shifted to a sports nursery in Panchkula. I was 14. I practised on a synthetic track for the first time and got to train with athletes who were playing at the national level. I played my first junior nationals in Lucknow in 2012 and broke the national record with a throw of 68.46 metres.”
- During an interview, while remembering the initial days of Neeraj’s practising session, his then coach Naseem Ahmad said,
He’d sit with his notebook and take tips from them. He would never shy away from training and would always set targets of winning each day’s round with the group. To see him win the gold medal today on the biggest stage is the greatest joy for us. And I am sure he will be spending time with the javelin throwers from the other countries just like he did here with his seniors and friends post-training or competition.”
- After years of training, he participated in various national and international javelin throw competitions and brought laurels to the nation. He has won various medals in competitions like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Championships. In an interview, he shared how he felt about winning a medal. He said,
After the youth nationals at Guntur where I won silver, I was selected for the World Youth Championships in Ukraine. In 2015, I was chosen for the National Games in Kerala. For the first time, in the camp, I got to practise with better-quality javelins, used internationally. Inferior quality javelins are heavier and can lead to injury: those with better material travel longer in the air. I threw it to a distance of 73.45 metres. In the same games, Rajinder Singh, my senior from Haryana, created a national record with a distance of 82.23.”
- In 2016, on winning the U-20 World Championship and making a national record, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg congratulated him on social media. Hindustan Times
- He was appointed as a Junior Commissioned Officer (NaibSubedar rank) in the Indian Army in 2016 in the parent unit 4 Rajputana Rifles. Later, he was selected for training at the Mission Olympics Wing and the Army Sports Institute in Pune. He was then promoted from the Naib Subedar rank to Subedar rank.
- He was selected as the flag bearer of India at the Asian Games 2018.
- He underwent surgery in 2019 due to an injury in his right elbow at the 68th All India Inter-Services Athletics in 2018.
- On 31 March 2020, he donated Rs. 2 lakh in the PM Cares Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- He represented India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in javelin throw which was held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. During an interview, Neeraj’s uncle shared that Neeraj had kept his phone off for a year before the Tokyo Olympics 2020 to avoid any distraction.
- On 7 August 2021, he won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 with a mark of 87.58 m and became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. On winning the gold medal, he became the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. He is the second Indian who has won a gold medal in the Olympics after the Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra.
- On his victory, the BCCI head announced a cash reward of Rs. 1 crore. The CM of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar rewarded him with a cash prize of Rs. 6 crores and a Grade 1 job in the Haryana Government. Later, the CM of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh rewarded him with Rs. 2 crores on his victory. He dedicated his gold medal to the legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh.
- The chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, on the victory of Neeraj said,
Neeraj Chopra has proven that when there is the WILL there is a way. He has done the Armed Forces and the Nation proud like many other Olympians who have created history in TOKYO 2020.”
- He chopped off his long hair before the Tokyo Olympics 2020 so they may not cause any trouble to him while practicing javelin throw.
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- During an interview, Neeraj talked about his cheat meal, he said,
If after I win I want to have a cheat meal, I’ll usually eat something sweet. I usually restrict the number of sweets I eat normally so when I get the chance to have a cheat meal, I’ll usually eat a lot of sweets. I don’t even care what kind of sweets they are. What I really like is fresh homemade churma (crushed roti with sugar and ghee). It has a lot of ghee and sugar, so it’s something we can’t eat during training so it’s something I really enjoy.”
- He loves travelling on a motorcycle, and he owns a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
- He has been featured in the print advertisements of Amstrad, an electronic company.
- Neeraj Chopra loves animals and often shares pictures with them on his social media accounts.
- In September 2021, a CRED commercial went viral on the internet in which Neeraj Chopra showed his acting skills in various avatars.