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Tokyo Olympics Countdown: Meet the athletes | Tokyo Olympics News - Times of India -

Tokyo Olympics Countdown: Meet the athletes | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India


In our countdown to the Tokyo Olympics we will regularly profile some of the biggest Indian medal contenders. Today we feature two of India’s most prominent young athletes – javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and archer Deepika Kumari.
Neeraj Chopra (Athletics)

Date of Birth: December 24, 1997
Age: 23
Birth Place: Panipat, Haryana
Sport/Event(s): Javelin throw
Personal Best: 88.07m (national record)
Major achievements:
* 2018 Asian Games gold medal
* 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal
* 2016 World Junior champion
* Junior world record holder

Young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has established himself as the one of the brightest track and field stars from India in recent times. Chopra came into the limelight with a stunning gold medal at the 2016 Junior World Championships in Poland. He broke the junior world record with a throw of 86.48m, which was even farther than the distance thrown to win the bronze medal a month later at the Rio Olympics.
The 23-year old made further strides with gold medal winning efforts at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018. At the Asiad in Indonesia (2018), he established a new national record with a throw of 88.06m.
In May 2019, Neeraj underwent elbow surgery on his throwing arm. He missed the IAAF World Championships, the Diamond League and the Asian Championships while recovering from the injury. He was expected to compete at the National Championships at the end of 2019, but the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) didn’t give him permission to compete, which in turn gave him more time to heal.
Neeraj though made an impressive comeback, post-surgery, qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.86m at the ACNE League meeting in South Africa in January 2020.
Like all athletes the world over, Chopra too has missed quality competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year now. But he broke his own National record this year in March, throwing a distance of 88.07m in Patiala, and will enter the Tokyo Games as one the biggest medal prospects for India.
India has never won an Olympic medal in javelin throw.
Deepika Kumari (Archery)


Date of Birth: June 13, 1994
Age: 26
Birth Place: Ranchi, Jharkhand
Sport/Event(s): Archery (Individual recurve and mixed team events)
World ranking: 3rd (As on May 22 2021)
Major achievements:
* World Championships – Two silver medals (2011, 2015)
* Commonwealth Games – Two gold medals (2010)
* Asian Games – Bronze medal (2010)
* Former world No. 1

Deepika Kumari has been the face of Indian archery for a decade now. As a 16-year old, she won two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.
Tokyo will be her third Olympics after being part of Indian team in the editions in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). She has been consistent in the international circuit, winning multiple medals at the Archery World Cups over the years and two silver medals at the World Championships.
Deepika is going into the Tokyo Olympics with form under her belt after winning two World Cup gold medals (individual & team) in April this year. With experience and form, she remains a possible medal prospect for India.
India has never won an Olympic medal in archery.

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