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Athletics

Naib Subedar Neeraj Chopra wins India's first-ever Olympic medal in athletics

The 23-year-old would be competing in the Men's Javelin Throw final at Tokyo Olympics

Neeraj Chopra with General Bipin Rawat
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Naib Subedar Neeraj Chopra (Source: Getty Images)

By

Manish Sharma

Updated: 2021-08-07T17:53:08+05:30

The Indian Army who's always made more than a billion people of the country feel safe by protecting our borders with unmatched dedication has also been very prominent with its contribution towards sports helping the country provide some of the best athletes on the global stage.

In the way Milkha Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Vijay Kumar made the country proud in the previous editions of the Olympics, the Tokyo 2020 Games have also seen a rich amount of athletes coming from the Indian Army who've been very prolific, especially in athletics.

Army Jawan Avinash Sable set a new national record in the 3000m Steeplechase, while Naib Subedar Sandeep Kumar put in a spirited performance in the 20km Race Walk final finishing 23rd.

Day 15 of the Tokyo Olympics saw another one of the Indian Army's finest in the form of Naib Subedar Neeraj Chopra, competing in the Men's Javelin Throw final with ending India's long wait for a medal in athletics.

India's first-ever junior world champion, Neeraj Chopra, was selected in the Indian Army as a junior commissioned officer (JCO) on the post of Naib Subedar in 2016.

The Army would normally select a sportsperson on a non-commissioned rank but Neeraj's potential in javelin throw was the reason he was given JCO rank which spoke volumes about Neeraj's ability on the field.

The selection in the Indian Army was a big relief for Neeraj personally and also sports-wise, as it meant he would be able to help his family financially and continue with his training as well.

Post joining the Indian Army, Neeraj just went on to hit new heights winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. The gold in the CWG was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2018, the award for outstanding performance in sports and games. He would then also go on to win the gold in the Asian Games in the same year.

Now at the Tokyo Olympics finals, Neeraj Chopra made history by becoming the first-ever Indian athlete to win a gold medal in athletics at the Olympic Games.

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