Neeraj Chopra’s rise from a chubby village kid to Indian sporting pantheon | More sports News

NEW DELHI: Neeraj Chopra‘s exceptional journey from a Haryana village, the place he was initially persuaded to embrace sports activities for weight reduction, has advanced into a really spectacular narrative. On the age of 25, he’s poised to etch his title as certainly one of India’s most revered sporting figures.
A mere two years in the past, Neeraj’s javelin soared majestically into the Tokyo sky, securing him the excellence of being the primary Indian monitor and discipline athlete to clinch an Olympic gold medal.

Remarkably, at simply 23 years previous, he joined the unique ranks of people just like the legendary shooter Abhinav Bindra, standing tall as solely the second Indian to grab a person Olympic gold.

Earlier than Bindra, who gained the 10m air rifle gold in 2008 Beijing Olympics, India’s eight different yellow metals on the Video games had come from hockey, a workforce sport.
Including yet one more chapter to his illustrious saga, Neeraj solidified his legacy with a convincing gold medal on the World Championships. With each triumph, his stature continues to ascend, fascinating the hearts and imaginations of individuals throughout the nation.

He’s now solely the second Indian — once more after Bindra — to concurrently maintain the Olympics and World Championships titles. Bindra gained the World Championships title when he was 23, and the Olympics gold at 25.
With age on his aspect, Chopra is certain to realize extra success if he stays match. He could have two Olympics and two World Championships earlier than he turns 30.

Superstardom after Tokyo gold
The world junior championships triumph in 2016 heralded Chopra’s rise on the world stage but it surely was the gold in Tokyo in 2021 that etched his title in Indian sporting historical past.
The adulation showered on him was unprecedented; it was at par with if no more than among the cricket icons.

He was the toast of the nation and having attended so many felicitation programmes on one event exhaustion and fever pressured him to go away a welcome operate close to his village. He later revealed that he had placed on weight after lacking coaching because of the many felicitation capabilities he had attended after the historic success in Tokyo.
Chopra discovered himself among the many most-searched Indian personalities on-line and ranked above the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in Google searches in India. After his Tokyo triumph, Chopra’s model worth skyrocketed with high model sponsors lining up for him.
His model worth was compered with individuals like Kohli and his Instagram and Twitter followers swelled immediately.
In December final yr, Chopra dislodged the long-lasting world file holder sprinter Usain Bolt because the ‘most seen’ and ‘written-about’ athlete on this planet.

Neeraj Chopra wins gold medal in Men's Javelin at the World Athletics Championship 2023


Neeraj Chopra wins gold medal in Males’s Javelin on the World Athletics Championship 2023

Chopra led a star-studded discipline when it comes to media protection with 812 articles printed in his title, adopted by Jamaican dash trio of Elaine Thompson-Herah (751), Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce (698) and Shericka Jackson (679).
Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla stated lately that Chopra’s Tokyo Olympics gold has made dad and mom assume that there’s a profession past cricket in India.
Sumariwalla will not be off the mark as greater than half a dozen Indians are at present able to hurling the spear above 80m and three Indians, together with Chopra, featured within the World Championships males’s javelin closing on Sunday.
August 7, the day Chopra gained gold in Tokyo, is now being celebrated as Nationwide Javelin Day.
Consistency is the important thing for Chopra
Consistency has been Chopra’s forte since his Tokyo triumph as he has thrown above 86m in all of the occasions he has taken half within the final two years. In fact, he has not competed in too many competitions — simply two this yr earlier than the World Championships — however there has not been any drop in his efficiency.
The least distance he has cleared because the Tokyo gold was the 86.69m whereas profitable the Kuortane Video games title in Finland in June final yr. His greatest is the 89.94m which fetched him a second place on the Stockholm Diamond League, additionally in June final yr.
In comparison with this, his closest opponents akin to Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic has thrown beneath 85m many instances. In fact, Vadlejch has featured in additional than 20 competitions within the final two years, greater than twice as that of Chopra.
It is nearly the identical in case of Julian Weber of Germany, who was fourth in Tokyo and in addition within the 2022 World Championships.
Anderson Peters of Grenada suffered a dip in type after profitable gold within the 2022 World Championships — his second after 2019 version triumph — and he couldn’t even contact 80m within the qualification spherical right here on Friday to make an early exit.
Final down-to-earth and folks’s champion
Chopra will not be as articulate because the likes of Bindra however his ‘I can not damage or disappoint anyone’ mindset can flooring anybody. He would readily oblige followers in India and overseas for selfies and autographs. He is not going to say no to scribes wanting to speak to him.
Little doubt, the Tokyo Olympics success introduced sure restrictions so far as entry to him is worried with ‘guards’ surrounding him usually, however he stays all the way down to earth as earlier than. He’s nonetheless accessible within the enjoying area.
Chopra speaks from the center and never in a nuanced method. He would even candidly inform scribes that medals will not be awarded in sure occasions.
Mischievous chubby child cajoled to shed flab
However a few years earlier than he achieved greatness, Chopra was beneath great strain from his joint household of 17 to drop extra pounds.
He was all of 13 at that time and had turn out to be a mischievous boy, usually twiddling with the bee hives on village bushes and making an attempt to tug buffaloes by their tails.
His father Satish Kumar Chopra needed one thing to be carried out to self-discipline the boy. So, after numerous cajoling, the kid lastly agreed to do some operating to shed the flab.
His uncle took him to Shivaji Stadium in Panipat — round 15km from his village.
Chopra wasn’t eager about operating and nearly immediately fell in love with javelin throw when he noticed just a few seniors practising on the stadium.
He determined to strive his luck and, as they are saying, the remainder is historical past, which might now in all probability make its method into college textbooks.
(With PTI Inputs)

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