Neeraj Chopra Secures Gold At Paavo Nurmi Games 2024 In Javelin Comeback

Neeraj Chopra wins Gold in Paavo Nurmi Games 2024 for first time on his Javelin return ahead of Olympics 2024.

India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra made a triumphant return to the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, clinching the Gold medal with a spectacular throw of 85.97m. This victory marks a significant upgrade from his Silver medal performance in the same event back in 2022.

Chopra, competing in his third event of the season after missing the Ostrava Golden Spike due to injury precautions, showcased his prowess ahead of the upcoming Paris Olympics. He started strong with a throw of 83.62m in the opening round, leading the competition initially. However, Finland’s Oliver Helander briefly surpassed him with an 83.96m throw in the second round.

Undeterred, Chopra reclaimed the lead in style during his third attempt, launching the javelin to a remarkable distance of 85.97m. His performance effectively secured the Gold, leaving competitors like Toni Keränen of Finland trailing with a throw of 84.19m.

Despite the anticipation surrounding Germany’s Max Dehning, who achieved a 90m throw earlier this year, he struggled to find form in Finland, managing a best throw of 79.84m and finishing seventh. Two-time champion Anderson Peters also fell short, placing fourth with a top throw of 82.58m.

Chopra’s victory underscores his readiness for the Paris Olympics, where he aims to replicate or surpass his historic achievement from Tokyo 2020. Whether he will participate in the Paris Diamond League in July remains undecided, but his stellar performance in Finland reaffirms his status as a formidable contender on the global stage.

Who Is Neeraj Chopra?

Neeraj Chopra’s rise from a village in Haryana to global athletics stardom is truly inspiring. Born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village, Panipat, Neeraj’s journey began when his family encouraged him to take up sports to tackle childhood obesity. His talent for the javelin throw was soon discovered by his uncle, leading him to train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Panchkula under coach Jaiveer Singh.

Neeraj’s big break came at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland, where he won gold with a world junior record throw of 86.48 meters. He continued to shine, bagging gold at both the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and the Asian Games in Indonesia.

However, his crowning achievement was winning the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021 due to the pandemic), with a throw of 87.58 meters. This made him the first Indian to win an Olympic gold in athletics. Neeraj also secured a silver medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

Neeraj has trained under several top coaches, including Uwe Hohn and Dr. Klaus Bartonietz, refining his powerful and precise throwing technique. His hard work has earned him the Arjuna Award (2018) and the prestigious Khel Ratna Award (2021), among other accolades. Post-Olympics, he received widespread recognition and rewards from various state and national bodies.

Beyond his athletic success, Neeraj is a symbol of inspiration for young athletes across India. He actively promotes sports and encourages youth participation in athletics. Balancing his sports career with education, Neeraj is also known for his love of travelling, music, and spending time with family and friends.

Key Achievements of Neeraj Chopra

World Junior Championships: Neeraj gained international recognition by winning the gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, with a world junior record throw of 86.48 meters.

Asian Games and Commonwealth Games: In 2018, Neeraj won gold medals at both the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, and the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Olympic Gold: Neeraj’s most significant achievement came at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021 due to the pandemic), where he won the gold medal with a throw of 87.58 meters, becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics.

World Championships: Neeraj won a silver medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, further solidifying his position as one of the top javelin throwers globally.

National Awards: Neeraj has received numerous accolades, including the Arjuna Award (2018) and the prestigious Khel Ratna Award (2021), India’s highest sporting honour.

Other Honors: Following his Olympic victory, he was widely celebrated and felicitated by various state and national organizations, receiving substantial monetary rewards and recognition.