About Neeraj

  • Born in 1997 in Haryana, Neeraj is the eldest among three siblings.
  • Neeraj suffered from childhood obesity before his uncle took him to a ground nearby to improve his fitness and do some physical activity.
  • While playing at Shivaji stadium in Panipat, he came across some javelin throwers and began participating himself.
  • He kept getting better by learning from videos of legendary thrower Jan Zelezny.
  • Neeraj visited the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre at Panipat, where he was first recognised as a talented javelin thrower.
  • In 2012, at age 14, he won gold at the National Junior Athletics Championships with a new national record of 68.4 metres.
  • Neeraj went on to win Gold at the 2016 South Asian Games and at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships (broke U20 World Record at this event, which still stands at 86.48m), but nearly missed out on qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics as the cut-off date had passed before he hit the required number.
  • 2018 was another prolific year as he won Gold at the Asian Games as well as the Commonwealth Games.
  • Had to undergo surgery for a career threatening elbow injury in 2019, but Neeraj was resilient and came back stronger than ever.
  • The greatest moment of Neeraj’s career came in 2021 at Tokyo, Japan when he won Gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, becoming independent India’s first ever track and field Olympic Gold medalist.
  • Post Tokyo, Neeraj has shown no signs of slowing down. In 2022, Neeraj was winner at the Lausanne Diamond League and the Zurich Diamond League Final, which made him winner of the Diamond League Trophy. He also bagged Silver at the 2022 World Championships held at Oregon, USA.
  • 2022 also saw Neeraj achieve his best ever throw (89.94m) at the Stockholm Diamond League, where he secured second place.
  • He suffered a setback in the form of a groin injury just before the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which forced him to pull out of the competition.
  • He came back to secure victories at the Doha and Lausanne legs of the Diamond League in the first half of 2023, went on to win the World Championships and the Asian Games.
  • Due to his spectacular sporting achievements, he has been awarded with honours such as the Arjuna Award (2018), Vishisht Seva Medal (2020), Khel Ratna Award (2021), Padma Shri (2022), and Param Vishisht Seva Medal (2022).
  • At only 25 years of age, Neeraj has brought extraordinary glory to India and is primed to launch into even greater heights with the help of his golden arm.
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