The Indian javelin throw ace, too, seldom disappoints, winning medals and setting new records with staggering consistency.
Perhaps the highlight of Neeraj Chopra’s short yet eventful career so far has been his gold medal win at Tokyo 2020.
With a best throw of 87.58m in the finals, Neeraj Chopra, in his early twenties, became the first Indian track and field athlete to win Olympic gold and only the second Indian, after shooter Abhinav Bindra, to win an individual gold medal at the Summer Games.
Even Neeraj Chopra’s second-best throw of 87.03m at the Japan National Stadium during the Tokyo 2020 men’s javelin throw finals would have been enough for the top podium finish. Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch won the silver with a throw of 86.67m.
Interestingly, the 87.58m Olympic gold-winning throw, as significant as it may have been, isn’t Neeraj Chopra’s personal best. In fact, it barely makes into the top five.
Neeraj Chopra’s best throw is 88.07m, which earned him a gold medal at the Indian Grand Prix 3 in Patiala on March 5, 2021. The mark still stands as the men’s national record in India and Neeraj Chopra’s personal best.
The previous national record of 88.06m, a gold medal-winning throw at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, also belonged to Neeraj Chopra.
The third-longest throw recorded by the Indian star was 87.86m at an ACNW League Meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Incidentally, that throw enabled Chopra to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Overall, Neeraj Chopra has breached the 85m mark on 18 occasions. Two of these crossed the 88m mark.
Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal at the IAAF World U20 Championships 2016 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. This effort, which helped Chopra grab world attention, came on the back of an 86.48m attempt, an under-20 world record!
The Indian ace’s gold-medal winning effort at the Commonwealth Games 2018, meanwhile, measured slightly shorter at 86.47m.
Here’s a list of Neeraj Chopra’s best throws to date.