Star Indian javelin thrower and Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra hopes that he is able to touch the 90 m mark in his sport soon this year and remarked that “it is a magical mark that gives bragging rights to the world’s top javelin throwers. Neeraj held a press interaction with journalists on Saturday. “I hope we end this conversation about achieving the 90m-mark this year. It is a magical mark and gives bragging rights to the world’s top javelin throwers — ‘oh look, we have done the 90m’. It is an important benchmark for them. I know I am very close to achieving it. Hopefully, it will soon happen this year,” said Chopra in the interaction.
The star javelin thrower said that he has three big events this year, namely the World Championships, Asian Games 2023 and the final of the Diamond League.
He said he has not thought about when he has to start his season and will plan with his coach.
“About when to start, I have not thought about it. I will plan with the coach assessing the situation in China. If it happens as per schedule in October, we may start the season a bit late so that we can stretch it till the Asian Games,” said Neeraj.
Keeping these upcoming challenges in mind, Neeraj said about his training regime, “I am mainly doing shoulder strengthening exercises. Lifting heavy balls, weighing about 8-10kg for building power and strength. I am also throwing heavy balls of about 1.8-2kg. From our next camp in South Africa, where the weather is also good we can start with the javelin.”
Neeraj said that he does not think much about the expectations from him and his “mind goes blank” while competing.
“I do not think much about the expectations. Yes, you have to handle both your own and others’ expectations. But when I am competing, my mind goes blank,” said the athlete.
“It is about giving it your all, your 100 per cent thinking that you have prepared for just this day. And somewhere these expectations from the people who love me play a positive part,” he added.
2022 was an amazing year for Neeraj, though he missed out on Commonwealth Games 2022 due to an injury.
In June, he new national record and finished with a silver medal with a throw of 89.30 metres at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, bettering his own previous national record of 88.07 meters which he had set in Patiala in March last year.
In June again, he gave another sterling performance as he clinched gold in the 2022 Kuortane Games in Finland. Neeraj threw 86.69 m to clinch the top prize in tricky and wet conditions.
At the World Athletics Championships in July, Neeraj Chopra made history by becoming only the second Indian and the first male track and field athlete to take home a medal. He finished second and won the silver medal, realising his aim of winning a World medal with a throw of 88.13 metres. Anju Bobby George won a bronze medal for India in the long jump competition before Neeraj.
In September, Chopra made history by becoming the first-ever Indian to win the prestigious Diamond League trophy, a top-tier athletics competition, achieving the best throw of 88.44 m to clinch one of the biggest wins of his career.
He now holds the male javelin record thanks to a throw in the Stockholm Diamond League that measured 89.94 metres, with which he broke his own record. He clinched a silver medal at the prestigious Diamond League meet in Stockholm and broke his own previous record.
This year, he intends to try to break the coveted 90-meter barrier, which is a sign of a capable javelin competitor.