Congratulations poured in for Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra as he etched his name in another chapter of history by becoming the first male track and field athlete and only the second Indian to win a medal in the World Championships. The national record holder clinched a silver in the javelin throw final at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, producing a best throw of 88.13m to finish second.
As the 24-year-old javelin throw champion gallops towards more milestones in his sporting career, here’s a look at his achievements so far:
- South Asian Games 2016: He won a gold at the Guwahati South Asian Games with a then personal best throw of 82.23m and set a senior national record.
- Under-20 World Championships 2016: Chopra, with his 86.48m throw to victory, bagged the gold at the World U20 Championships in Poland, also setting a U20 World record as well as a U20 Asian record. Both his records stand unbroken to date.
- Asian Athletics Championships (AAC) 2017: Managing an 85.23m winning throw, Chopra clinched another gold, this time at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar.
- Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2018: In Australia, Chopra became the first Indian javelin thrower to win a gold at the Commonwealth games and only the fourth Indian to win a CWG gold after Milkha Singh, Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda. He clocked an 86.47 winning throw.
- Asian Games 2018: He won India’s maiden javelin throw gold in the Asian Games held in Jakarta that year, with an 88.06m effort, setting a then national record.
- Tokyo Olympics 2021: After missing the whole of the 2019 season due to an elbow injury and another year to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Chopra brought in what was probably one of the country’s greatest triumphs and India’s first-ever athletics gold in the Olympics, with an 87.58m throw in the Tokyo Olympics final in August 2021.
- Paavo Nurmi Games 2022: Chopra won a silver and bettered his own javelin national record (88.07m) by more than a metre with a massive 89.30m effort at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, in June.
- Kuortane Games 2022: The Olympic champion, with an opening effort of 86.69m, won his first gold of the 2022 season at the Kuortane Games, also in Finland in June.
- Stockholm Diamond League 2022: Chopra registered his personal best throw to date and a new national record at the Stockholm Diamond League in Sweden with an 89.94m second-finish throw, also his closest effort to the ambitious 90m mark. He has held and bettered the national record since 2016.
Chopra is now set to take on even bigger challenges as he spearheadsthe Indian contingent for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games starting on July 28.