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Athletics

Neeraj Chopra is the GOAT of Indian Athletics - Here's Why!

Neeraj Chopra added the Diamond League trophy to his already well-decorated medal cabinet and can now boast of glory at every major athletics event, cementing his status as the GOAT of Indian Athletics.

Neeraj Chopra is the GOAT of Indian Athletics - Heres Why!
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By

Pritish Raj

Published: 9 Sep 2022 5:40 AM GMT

Neeraj Chopra created history in Zurich after taking the Diamond League trophy in Javelin throw as he became the first-ever Indian to do so.

At the stage of world athletics, Indians were hardly talked about until only a few years back - from that to arriving to this day when an Indian athlete owns a title at the most elite track and field championships - the growth curve for Indian athletics has been immense.

On August 7, 2021, when Neeraj Chopra threw 87.58m in Tokyo and ended the 121-year-wait for a track and field gold medal at the Olympics for India, it was evident that he is destined for greatness.

After creating history at Olympics, Neeraj went on to break national records twice in 2022 and won a Diamond League meet and clinched a silver medal at the World Championships and finally ended his season with a bang by winning the Diamond League crown - summing up an excelling performance for Indian athletics.

At the age of 24 now and just 5 years after breaking into the senior level, Neeraj Chopra boasts of a medal cabinet which has everything from the biggest events in the Athletics world.

From Junior World Champion to Olympic Champion, Neeraj has only one upgrade left in his kitty and that is gold from the World Championships now.

Let us look at Neeraj's performance at major athletics events:

World Athletics U-20 Championship 2016

The breeding ground for future champions, U20 World Championship is known to have a high-quality competition pool.

Neeraj Chopra created a junior world record in the 2016 edition with a throw of 86.48m which still stands. Current World Champion Anderson Peters won bronze in this edition.

This was the first mark Neeraj made at the global level.

Commonwealth Games 2018

2017 was a year of learning for Neeraj with not much success but a lot of exposure in terms of the World Athletics Championships and Diamond League.

Neeraj threw a season-best of 86.47m to claim his first gold medal at a multi-sporting event and created history by becoming the first ever Indian javelin thrower to do that.

Asian Games 2018

Neeraj Chopra claimed his second gold at a multi-sporting event and broke the National record with a throw of 88.06m at the 2018 Asian Games.

Coming fresh from a Commonwealth games gold and missing podium at Diamond League by the barest of the margins, Neeraj had a massive lead of 5.84m over his closest rival from China.

Olympic Games 2020

After multiple delays, the Olympic Games were back and the world was waiting for the historic moment.

Indian fans had no idea what was waiting for them. An end to the 121-year-old wait for a medal in athletics and it was him again, the glorious child of Indian athletics. Neeraj Chopra topped the qualification and created history with an 87.58m throw.

India was buzzing and it was the stamping authority of a champion on his title. Neeraj hasn't stopped after that.

World Athletics Championships 2022

Neeraj Chopra was coming to World Championship after breaking another national record and throwing 89.94m at Stockholm Diamond League.

The fight for the world title was between World Champion Anderson Peters and Olympic Champion.

Anderson Peters started with a monstrous 90m throw and took the title while Chopra had to settle for a silver medal but it was history nevertheless.

Neeraj became the first Indian male athlete to win a medal at World Championships and won the medal after 19 years.

Diamond League Final 2022

With Anderson Peters and Arshad Nadeem out owing to injuries, Neeraj was the clear favourite to win another title on the global stage for India.

After starting with a foul throw, Neeraj threw 88.44m in his second attempt which eventually was the winning throw.

Neeraj Chopra has cemented his place as one of the best athletes in the world with his consistency and constant improvement. The only things Neeraj has left to conquer are the world title and to defend his crown everywhere.

Moreover, the heroics of Neeraj Chopra has inspired and gifted India a batch of champions who are ready to take on the world.

From India almost sweeping off the podium in the triple jump at CWG, Avinash Sable beating Kenyans to a podium finish in 3000m steeplechase and the emergence of Murali Sreeshankar, all of this comes under the Neeraj Chopra effect.

With Neeraj Chopra having everything in his kitty now, it is the right time to hail him as the GOAT of Indian athletics.

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