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Athletics

WATCH: When Neeraj Chopra revealed how he came to choose javelin

As golden boy Neeraj Chopra turns a year older today, we rediscover the story about how the javelin sensation came across the sport as a child.

Neeraj Chopra in action at the Tokyo Olympics final (Source: Reuters)
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Neeraj Chopra in action at the Tokyo Olympics final (Source: Reuters)

By

Sohinee

Published: 24 Dec 2021 6:11 AM GMT

There are just certain things in life that are simply fateful - like a water droplet that goes out in the search for another one, life can draw us magnetically enough to our callings, through its own mysterious ways. For Neeraj Chopra as well, javelin happened naturally, so much so that in retrospect it seems like a divine intervention that took place and permanently changed the life of the youngster who would one day go on to become the first individual Olympic gold medallist from India in athletics after winning the yellow metal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Chopra, who created indelible history on 7th August 2021 with a throw of 87.58 m in his second attempt that saw him winning the gold medal, turns a year older today on Christmas eve. Ever since that victory, Chopra has become part of some kind of heroic folklore for his golden stint at the Olympics - his easy and charming yet humble personality only ensuring that he is an ever-approachable figure.

In an old video from a Star Sports event, Neeraj Chopra can be seen mentioning how it is that javelin happened for him, way before he was to achieve the Olympic glory and create so much history. Taking up the sport to fight obesity as a child, Chopra and the javelin had a love-at-first-sight moment and a little bit of intervention from the divine that willed him to choose and take up the sport while playing one day at the Shivaji Stadium in Panipat.

Neeraj Chopra at the Tokyo Olympics (Source: Reuters)

Ever humble and down-to-earth, Chopra mentioned, "God decided it (javelin) for me. I used to play different sports in my village. But once I went to the ground and saw seniors throwing the javelin in the air, I joined them," he said with a chuckle. "I did not even know what javelin is. It started just like that and now I'm here in front of you," Chopra amusingly said - showing just how life can change because of certain choices.

In the video, Chopra is also asked if Shahrukh Khan or Ishant Sharma was the inspiration behind his then-long mane of hair, to which Neeraj, albeit a committed Bollywood fan, said, "Main khud hi apne baal lambe rakhta hun (No inspiration. I just wear my hair long on my own)," he revealed.

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