Here is a profile for India’s rising star, Neeraj Chopra, detailing information about his playing career, achievements, as well as his brand endorsements, notable honours and charity work.
Date of Birth – 24 December 1997
Nationality – Indian
Role – Track and Field Athlete
Event – Javelin throw
Coach – Dr Klaus Bartonietz
Current Ranking – No. 2
Olympics – Gold (2020 Tokyo Olympics)
Asian Games – Gold (2018 Jakarta)
Commonwealth Games – Gold (2018 Gold Coast)
Asian Championships – Gold (2017 Bhubaneshwar)
South Asian Games – Gold (2016 Guwahati)
At 13, a young Neeraj was introduced to the world of sports as means to stay fit. He was soon a part of the Panipat Sports Authority of India centre, where he took to javelin throw and his ability to throw almost 50m without any professional training caught the eye of former Indian javelin thrower Jaiveer Choudhary. Choudhary began to train and coach Neeraj, with the aim to hone his skills and realise the talent that lay within him.
Chopra’s first success came at the 2012 National Junior Athletics Championship in Lucknow, where he took the gold medal and created a then-national record of 68.40 metres. He started his international career the following year at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine and won his first international medal at the Youth Olympic Qualifications in Bangkok in 2014, where he took the silver medal.
Further success followed as he went on to break the world record in the junior category the following year at the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics. Chopra finished fifth at the 2015 National Games held in Kerala and shifted bases from Panchkula to Patiala, which he credits as a major turning point in the career.
Chopra started off 2016 strongly with a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games and took the gold again at the IAAF World U20 Championship. His performance at the World U20 Championships also saw him become the first Indian to set the junior world record with a throw of 86.48 metres.
An injury came at the worst time for Chopra, which eventually hampered his Rio Olympic Games preparation. The same year, he was also given a direct appointment into the Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Rajputna Rifles.
Chopra started off 2017 with gold at the Asian Athletics Championship and was looking forward to another promising year, but injuries again held him back and hampered the remainder of his season. He bounced back strongly from his injury with gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and once again created a new world record at the Doha Diamond League the same year with a record throw of 87.43 metres. Chopra won gold at his debut Asian Games in 2018 and his stellar year was capped off with an Arjuna Award.
Chopra started his Olympic preparations strongly with a win at the Athletics Central North West League in South Africa at the start of 2020, but the COVID pandemic laid waste to the rest of the year. He went on to create history at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games the following year, when he became the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics.
Arjuna Award – 2018
Vishisht Seva Medal – 2020
Mobil India – American multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil’s Indian brand, Mobil India, tied up with the ace athlete in 2019. Chopra appears in multiple campaigns for the brand, including the #FarakLaakarDekhiye campaign.
MuscleBlaze – Indian sports nutrition supplements brand MuscleBlaze has been a long-term sponsor of Neeraj Chopra, even before his Tokyo heroics. Chopra is a part of multiple advertisement campaigns for the brand and promotes its products regularly.
TATA AIA Life Insurance – Following his historic Olympic achievements, TATA AIA Life Insurance was the first company to sign on the athlete as a brand ambassador. The multi-year deal with the company sees the athlete promote the company’s policies and educate the general public about the important of life and health insurances.
CRED – Ahead of the resumption of the 2021 IPL season, Indian fintech company CRED roped in the Olympic gold medallist as its latest ambassador. Chopra’s first campaign with the company was the Great for Good campaign alongside actor Jim Sarbh.
P&G – Chopra signed a deal with American personal care products company Procter & Gamble, signing on as the brand ambassador for P&G’s brand Gillette in India. As part of their partnership, Chopra appears in advertisements for the brand and also promotes it on his own social media platforms.
Amstrad AC – Indian electronics company Amstrad AC brought on Chopra as a brand ambassador following his gold win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Chopra is the face of the brand and partakes in several of its advertisement campaigns on social media.
Country Delight – Chopra signed on with Indian dairy company as its brand ambassador in early 2021. Being an athlete, Chopra promotes and speaks out about the importance of milk and dairy products in his diet, that help him to function at the highest level.
iQOO India – Following his Olympic triumph, smartphone manufacturer iQOO India tied up with Neeraj Chopra for its ‘i Quest On & On‘ campaign. Chopra currently is the brand ambassador of the brand and promotes its products on various social platforms.
Gatorade – Sports drink company Gatorade brought on Neeraj Chopra as its brand ambassador following his successful 2018 Asian Games result. Since his partnership with Gatorade, Chopra has been a part of multiple Gatorade digital media campaigns, such as #GatoradexNeeraj and #SweatMore.