Neeraj Chopra has won the first ever athletics gold for India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. No Indian could ever win an Olympic gold in athletics. Neeraj has made Flying Sikh Milkha Singh’s dream come true. Milkha Singh Ji had missed missed Olympic medal at 400 meters race.
When Milkha Singh headed to the Rome Olympics in 1960, the entire world expected him to win the 400m race. The then reigning Asian Games gold medalist was the first-ever Indian athlete to reach the final of a track and field event at the Games. 24 years later, PT Usha entered 1984 games in great form. But she missed out on a bronze medal by 0.01s in the women’s 400m hurdles.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra hails from Khandara village in Panipat district of Haryana. Neeraj has fulfilled Milkha’s wish by winning a medal in the Olympics. Born on 24 December 1997 in a farmer family, Neeraj studied at DAV College, Chandigarh. He won the gold medal in the 2016 IAAF Championships in Poland with a javelin throw of 86.48 meters. After that event, Neeraj secured his position as an officer in the army. But he has maintained his image of a farmer’s son in interviews.
Neeraj Chopra trained under coach Naseem Ahmed for many years to become a javelin thrower at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula. Naseem Ahmed is in awe of Neeraj’s brilliant performance.
Neeraj’s first coach Jitendra told that Neeraj Chopra came to Shivaji Stadium for the first time with his uncle Surendra Chopra. He tried his hand on all games. But when he gave him a bamboo spear to throe, he threw it at a distance of 25 meters for the first time. That is when, Jitnedra realised that Neeraj was born for this game.
Jaibir Dhonchak alias Monu, who trained with Neeraj, started taking him to Yamunanagar Stadium with him. This was because of the lack of level ground in the grass at Panipat’s Shivaji Stadium. Neeraj and his partner Jaibir, worked on the technique of throwing the javelin.
After Panipat, Neeraj trained in Yamunanagar, then Patiala and Germany for the Olympics. After practicing in India to win the gold medal at the Olympics, he took javelin throwing training from German coach Dr. Klaus Bartonitz.