India’s Neeraj Chopra, who won the men’s javelin today for the country’s first ever Olympic athletics gold, is also a soldier in the Indian Army. Mr Chopra, 23, managed a winning best of 87.58 metres to go one better than India’s previous best.
Here are 10 points on this big story:
1) Mr Chopra is a Subedar with 4 Rajputana Rifles in the Indian Army. He is a graduate of DAV College in Chandigarh.
2) He is the son of a farmer from Haryana. The state government has announced it would honour the athlete with Rs 6 crore.
3) “The golden victory of Subedar Neeraj Chopra at the Olympic brings laurels for the Indian Army. He performed like a true soldier at the Olympics. It is indeed a historic and proud moment for the entire country including the Indian Armed Forces! Many congratulations to him,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
4) Mr Chopra came into the Olympics with the fourth best throw of the year and lived up to his form as a faltering Johannes Vetter of Germany struggled and failed to qualify as one of the top eight.
5) He is the first athlete representing India to have won gold in javelin throw at both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. He claimed victory at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, and the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
6) Mr Chopra became the first Indian competitor to win a junior world title in athletics when he claimed gold in javelin throw at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Poland
7) He took up the sport in 2011, inspired by watching people practice throwing javelin in Haryana, according to his bio on the Olympics official website.
8) Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane and all ranks of the Indian Army congratulate Subedar Neeraj Chopra on winning nation’s first ever gold medal in javelin in Olympics with a throw of 87.58 metres, the Army tweeted from its official handle.
9) Mr Chopra’s win is India’s first gold medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
10) It is also the country’s second individual gold medal in its Olympic history after Abhinav Bindra’s heroics in Beijing 2008.