On Sunday, Neeraj Chopra scripted history as the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championship.

The 25-year-old won the medal for his historic javelin throw at the competition held in Budapest, Hungary.

Chopra’s trajectory as an athlete has been nothing short of extraordinary. In his own words from interviews over the years, we see instances of how he became the ‘golden boy of Indian athletics’.

“When the desire for success does not let you sleep, when there is nothing better than hard work, when you do not get tired after working continuously — understand that you are going to create a new history of success,” he said after winning the gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on X.

On his struggles and making it to the Olympics, he said, “My village still does not have a playground. Whenever I stay there, I need to practice on the road.”

“No matter what happens in Tokyo, Indian throwing has come a long way. I think more and more, kids will see what we’re achieving and be inspired to pick up a javelin in themselves.”

“Javelin is my identity and I am incomplete without it, but I know I have to be patient,” he said after suffering an elbow injury and being put on rest for four months.

On the inspiration he finds from his father, he said. “[I] can’t become better than my father, but surely can get inspired by him.”

“I just want to say, no matter who the opposition is, give your best. That is all you need to do and this is what this gold medal stands for. Never fear the opposition.”

The biggest learning is that an athlete needs to know when to stop. To know that if I push beyond this, there could be a problem.

“Summer, winter or rain; nothing should come between your aim,” he said on X.

“Once I throw, I immediately know how well I have done, or how badly, from the effort I have put in and the way the rhythm and technique comes together.”

“Some say it’s only throwing a spear, but for me it’s life.”