Neeraj Chopra's javelin records, a telling graph

Tokyo Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra boasts several prestigious records to his name, including the junior javelin throw world record. Know them all.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

From an overweight 13-year-old kid who took up sports to gain confidence to becoming the first Indian track and field athlete to win an Olympic medal, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has come a long way.

Only in his early twenties, the Tokyo Olympics champion and India's first world athletics championships silver medallist is barely at his peak.

However, what the Indian Army Subedar from Haryana has already achieved at his age is nothing short of staggering. In a short but impressive career, Neeraj Chopra has already erased several records, both national and global, to bring glory to India.

Here’s a look at Neeraj Chopra’s records.

First Indian track and field athlete to win an Olympic medal – Neeraj Chopra, Tokyo 2020

The moment the final throw was taken at the Tokyo Olympics men’s javelin throw event, Neeraj Chopra had secured another entry for himself in the history books.

With his second throw measuring 87.58m handing him the gold medal at Tokyo, Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian track and field athlete to win a medal at the Olympics.

Until Neeraj Chopra’s Tokyo heroics, India’s legacy in athletics at the Summer Games was highlighted only by heart-breaking misses. Milkha Singh and PT Usha agonisingly fell short of the podium by fraction of a second at Rome 1960 and Los Angeles 1984, respectively.

Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal at Tokyo ushered in a new era for Indian athletics. It was also India’s second Olympic gold at the Olympics, following shooter Abhinav Bindra’s 10m air rifle triumph at Beijing 2008.

First Indian to win a silver medal at World Athletics Championships - Neeraj Chopra, Oregon 2022

Barely a year after creating history at Tokyo 2020, Neeraj Chopra scripted another piece of history with a silver medal win at the World Athletics Championships 2022 in Oregon, USA.

Neeraj Chopra made the final at Oregon 2022 with an 88.39m mark in the qualification and logged a best throw of 88.13m in the medal round to settle for a silver.

It took defending world champion, Anderson Peters of Grenada, in the form of his life to deny Neeraj Chopra the gold medal. In the final, Peters breached the 90m-mark thrice and won the event with a 90.54m throw.

Nevertheless, Neeraj Chopra had the honour of becoming the first Indian in history to win a silver medal at the world athletics championships. It was also India's first medal -- and second overall -- at the world championships in 19 years, since long jumper Anju Bobby George’s bronze at Paris 2003.

First Indian track and field athlete to win a world championship – Neeraj Chopra, World U20 Championships 2016

Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal win at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, was a milestone moment in the future Olympic champion’s career.

With the win, the then 18-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian track and field athlete to become a world champion in any event and any age level. The win proved to be the platform Neeraj Chopra needed to develop into a global superstar.

First Indian track and field athlete to set a world record – Neeraj Chopra, 86.48m, World U20 Championships 2016

Neeraj Chopra’s winning throw of 86.48m at the junior championships in Poland also set the new under-20 world record, beating the 84.69m mark established by the previous holder, Latvia's Zigismunds Sirmais.

Neeraj Chopra’s 86.48m attempt at Bydgoszcz still stands as both the U20 world record as well as the U20 Asian record in the javelin throw.

Indian national javelin throw record – Neeraj Chopra, 89.94m, Stockholm Diamond League 2022

Neeraj Chopra has been in possession of the Indian national record in men’s javelin throw since 2016.

The Indian ace first set the senior national record during the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati, where he equalled Rajinder Singh’s mark of 82.23m en route to gold.

At the U20 world championships a few months later, he took sole custody and has bettered his own record several times since.

Neeraj Chopra’s best attempt to date came at the Stockholm Diamond League 2022 in Sweden on June 30, 2022, where he managed his personal best of 89.94m to establish the new national record.

First Indian javelin thrower to win gold medal at Asian Games – Neeraj Chopra, Jakarta 2018

One of Neeraj Chopra’s several national record-bettering throws was at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where he won the gold medal with an 88.06m attempt.

With it, Neeraj Chopra also became the first Indian javelin thrower to win a gold medal at the Asian Games. Before him, Gurtej Singh was the only men’s javelin thrower from the country to win a medal – bronze at the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games.

Indian women javelin throwers have won six medals (two silver, four bronze) at the continental event, but none of them gold.

Knowing Neeraj Chopra’s calibre, expect a lot more additions to this list in the coming years.

First Indian to win a Diamond League meet – Neeraj Chopra, 89.08m, Lausanne 2022

Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win a Diamond League meet after he topped the field in Lausanne in 2022. With a depleted field that had world champion Anderson Peters missing, the Indian comfortably led the charts with an 89.08m throw, in his first attempt. It was the last meet for the men’s javelin throw in the series.

With the performance, Neeraj Chopra qualified for the Diamond League Final and also made the cut for the World Athletics Championships 2023.

First Indian to be crowned Diamond League champion - Neeraj Chopra, 88.44m, Zurich Final 2022

In September 2022, Neeraj Chopra added another feather to his cap by becoming the first Indian athlete in history to clinch the Diamond League trophy, by winning the Zurich Diamond League 2022 Final. The Indian ace recorded a best throw of 88.44m to beat Tokyo 2020 silver medallist and 2016 champion Jakub Vadlejch to the title. Reigning European champion Julian Weber of Germany came in third with an 83.73m throw.

Neeraj Chopra made the cut for his third Diamond League 2022 Grand Final after winning the Lausanne Diamond League and finishing second at the Stockholm Diamond League. It was the Indian javelin thrower’s third appearance in the Diamond League final. He had finished seventh in 2017 and fourth in 2018.

Neeraj Chopra's records

Neeraj Chopra's records at major competitions
Event Edition Distance Result
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 87.58m Gold medal
Asian Games Jakarta 2018 88.06m Gold medal
Diamond League Stockholm 2022 89.94m Second place
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018 86.47m Gold medal
World Championships Oregon 2022 88.39m Second place - Q
Asian Championships Bhubaneshwar 2017 85.23m Gold medal
World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 86.48m Gold medal
Asian Junior Championships Ho Chi-Minh 2016 77.60m Silver medal
South Asian Games Guwahati 2016 82.23m Gold medal


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