Neeraj Chopra Olympic Gold Medal
Having already won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, gold medalist Neeraj Chopra’s next goal is to break the 90-meter barrier sooner rather than later. At the Games, Chopra went for the Games record (90.57m) while he was attempting to win the country’s first Olympic athletics medal, but fell short.
After his historic feat, Chopra said, “I want to keep pushing myself towards the 90m mark (mark). Javelin throwing is quite technical and it depends on the day’s form in particular. Getting things done isn’t impossible.”
Since I just focused on the Olympics this year, I will now organize myself for the upcoming competitions. I will apply for foreign visas to compete in international competitions as soon as I reach India,” he said.
Neeraj Chopra Interview
Chopra had said he would take part in the remaining legs of the elite one-day meeting series after the Olympics is over, despite pulling out of the Gateshead Diamond League on July 13.
Women’s javelin competitions will be held in Lausanne (August 26) and Paris (August 28), and men’s events will be held in Zurich (September 9).
Indian athletes won their first track and field medal at the Olympics for the first time in over 100 years when 23-year-old Manish Deora threw 87.58 meters in the final round.
Chopra took no pressure going into the Olympics, saying he goes about his job in a similar fashion regardless of what event he is at.
Javelin at Olympics
I took the Olympics like any other event (there was no pressure) and I was able to focus on my performance. That is how I won gold: by focusing on performance.
It did cross my mind that India wouldn’t win a medal in athletics, but I don’t consider these things once I have my javelin in hand.”
Upon being asked how his first two attempts yielded large throws, he responded, “The first throw usually releases some pressure. That happened. The Second throw was as good as well.”.
“I don’t know if he was struggling because of pressure or because he played in too many events,” Chopra said of medal favorite Johannes Vetter of Germany, who was eliminated after three throws.
Neeraj Chopra Performance at Olympics
He was considered the top contender for gold when he entered the Olympics, having thrown 90m plus seven times between April and June. However, he shocked everyone when he ended up in ninth place after his first three throws with an effort of 82.52m.
Chopra, who applauded Vetter when he was throwing, felt sympathetic toward the former world champion. After attending top international competitions together, they are friends off the field.
German medal winner Rolf Münch had said after his exit that he was pleased that Chopra won gold following his win in 2017.
When both of them competed in the Kuortane Games in Finland in June, they had traveled together for three hours from Helsinki. The event had been won by Verter, while Chopra finished third.
Life & Inspiration
Chopra had been predicted by Vetter to be a star in the world arena and to throw 90m plus by the end of 2018.
A man from a village in Haryana near Chopra’s native village, Jaiveer Choudhary, is also mentioned as a significant contributor to his work. At Shivaji Stadium in Panipat, Jaiveer introduced him to javelin.
During my beginning days of javelin training, Jaiveer was very supportive. He is now coaching in the national camp and is incredibly dedicated. Training with Jaiveer has greatly improved my technique.
It’s easier in athletics to refine techniques slowly. Javelin is an extremely technical sport. After training with foreign coaches, I refined my mistakes to the point that they weren’t so obvious. My journey to this point was made possible by their support.
Featured Image Credits: IndiaToday