After local children teased him about his childhood obesity, his father enrolled him in a gymnasium at Madlauda; he was later enrolled in a gym in Panipat.While there, he also visited the nearby Panipat Sports Authority of India centre, where javelin thrower Jaiveer Choudhary recognized his early talent.[ Observing Chopra’s ability to achieve a 40-metre throw without training and impressed by his drive, Choudhary became his first coach.After training under Choudhary for a year, the 13-year-old Chopra was admitted to the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, four hours from his home. The sports complex was then one of only two facilities in the state of Haryana with a synthetic runway. There, he trained under coach Ahmad, who made him train in long-distance running along with the javelin throw. Initially while at Tau Devi, he typically achieved throws of around 55 metres. He soon increased his range, and won the 2012 junior nationals in Lucknow by achieving a new national record throw of 68.40 metres.The next year, he entered his first international competition, the World Youth Championships in Ukraine. He won his first international medal in 2014, a silver at the Youth Olympics Qualification in Bangkok. He achieved his first throw of over 70 metres at the 2014 senior nationals, following this up with a world record throw in the junior category of 81.04 metres in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet; this was his first throw of over 80 metres.Chopra received a callback for the national-level training camp in 2015, leaving Panchkula in early 2016 to train at NIS Patiala. He won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games with a throw of 84.23 m, where he equalled the Indian national record.
Career Of N. Chopra
Chopra won gold in the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships with a throw of 85.23 metres.In the men’s javelin throw at 2018 Commonwealth Games, he registered a season-best effort of 86.47 metres, becoming one of the few Indian athletes to win a gold medal on their Commonwealth Games debut, also becoming the first Indian to win the javelin throw at the Games. In May 2018, he again broke the national record at the Doha Diamond League with a throw of 87.43 metres.
In August 2018, Chopra made his debut appearance at the Asian Games representing India at the 2018 Asian Games, and was also the flag-bearer for the Indian contingent during the 2018 Asian Games Parade of Nations.On 27 August, he threw a distance of 88.06 m to win gold in the Men’s javelin throw at the 2018 Asian Games and set a new Indian national record, bettering his own previous record.It was also India’s first gold medal in javelin throw at the Asian Games. Chopra was the only track and field athlete that year to be recommended by the AFI for the country’s highest sports award, the Khel Ratna, but was awarded the Arjuna Award in September 2018.
Having suffered an elbow injury, Chopra underwent surgery in Mumbai on 2 May 2019, the day after the qualifying competitions for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had begun After a period of recuperation, involving meditation and rehabilitative training at Patiala and the IIS Vijayanagar, Chopra travelled to South Africa in November 2019 for training under German biomechanics expert Klaus Bartoneitz. Previously, he had been coached by Gary Calvert,Werner Daniels and Uwe Hohn.After a 16-month hiatus, he returned to international competition in January 2020 with a winning throw of 87.86 metres in the Athletics Central North West League Meeting in Potchefstroom, South Africa, which qualified him for Tokyo.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chopra spent the next year in India training at the NIS Patiala.On 5 March 2021, Chopra again broke his own national record with a new throw of 88.07m, establishing him in a world leading position. After weeks of attempting to secure a travel visa, which Chopra described as frustrating, he was cleared to travel to France with his coach. He opened his international season of 2021 with a throw of 83.18 metres that earned him a gold medal at an event in Lisbon, Portugal, but skipped the World Athletics Continental Tour and the Diamond League event at Gateshead to rest and prepare for the Olympics.
2020 Tokyo Olympics
See also: Athletics at the 2020 Summer Olympics – Men’s javelin throw
Chopra made his debut at the Olympics representing India at the 2020 Summer Olympics. On 4 August 2021, he was placed in Group A. Despite the effects of jet lag after flying to Tokyo from Sweden and a disrupted sleep schedule due to regular dope-control testing, Chopra topped his group and qualified for the final in the men’s javelin throw with a throw of 86.65 metres. Competing with more-experienced and better-performing athletes, notably Johannes Vetter of Germany, Chopra’s strategy for the final, which he developed with his coach Bartonietz, was to rely on his speed and put pressure on the rest of the field with a powerful long throw.
As a result, Chopra won the gold medal in the final on 7 August with a throw of 87.58 m,and became the first Indian Olympian to win a gold medal in athletics, and the first post-independence Indian Olympic medalist in athletics. He also became the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal after Abhinav Bindra, who won the gold medal in the men’s 10 m air rifle in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Chopra dedicated his win to sprinters Milkha Singh and P. T. Usha.