At the Asian Games 2018, Neeraj Chopra made history by becoming the first Indian javelin thrower to win a gold medal. Earlier, during the Commonwealth Games as well he became the first Indian javelin thrower to win a gold medal in the Games’ history.
Chopra managed a personal best throw of 88.06 which is a national record to win the top prize in javelin throw while China’s Liu Qizhen and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem came second and third with throws of 82.22 and 80.75 respectively.
Born in the village of Khandra in Haryana’s Panipat district, Chopra is the son of a farmer. During his childhood, he wanted to be a cricketer but he soon realized his love for javelin.
He developed an interest in javelin at the age of 11 after being inspired by watching a thrower named Jaiveer practice at the Panipat Stadium. He was an obese child, weighing 80 kg at the age of 11.
He then soon enrolled himself at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) sports hostel in Panchkula. Since then it has been a rollercoaster ride for him.
He has been trained by legendary Uwe Hohn. Hohn is the only man to to breach the 100m mark in javelin throw in 1984 when his throw was of 104.80 meters though in 1986, the records had to be restarted, making his record an eternal one
He has won Gold at some major events like the World Junior Championships in 2016, The Asian Championships in 2017, the South Asian Games in 2016 and the Commonwealth Games in 2018.