Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has now set his sights on the World Championships in August and also wants to breach the elusive 90-metre mark this year. He will start his season at the Doha leg of the Diamond League on May 5.
Neeraj is focused and determined to have an injury-free season. He had won the silver medal in the 2022 World Championship in the US. So this time he will aim for gold at the World Championships in Hungary. He highlights the number of events lined up for him.
“It is going to be a long season this time, the Asian Games (javelin event) is going to be in October. I will try to stay away from injury, hoping for a successful as well healthy season,” Chopra said from his current base in Turkey during a virtual interaction.
“I want to win gold in the World Championships in Hungary but there is no pressure whether I do it this time or later. I need to be better technically this year as the season is long,” the 25-year-old added.
Speaking about the Paris Olympics, Neeraj understands the pressure that will be on him. However, he feels that the Tokyo gold will motivate him to do better in Paris next year. He promises to work harder in Paris and is hoping that the upcoming events will give him enough confidence and momentum heading into the Paris Olympics next year.
“There will be expectations and more pressure to win gold in Paris, so I will be even better prepared than Tokyo Olympics when I go to Paris. But hopefully, with the learning and experience from all these years, I hope I will be able to maintain myself, be consistent and get better every time I compete. Of course, the Tokyo Gold will motivate me to do better in Paris. I will work harder to do even better than Tokyo.”
Neeraj will have the likes of Anderson Peters and Jakub Vadelejch in company in the Doha leg of the Diamon League meetings. The last time he featured in Doha back in 2018, he finished fourth. But now the situation is different and hopefully, the result will be much better.
Lastly, Neeraj spoke about breaching the 90-metre mark, which is on everyone’s mind. Although he isn’t feeling the pressure of not breaching the 90-metre mark, he wants to seal it this year. Neeraj’s personal best is 89.94 metre.
“Everybody has been asking about the 90m mark since 2018. Last year, I was just 6cm short of 90m. I hope to do it this year but I will not put any pressure on myself. 90m is a magical mark and the 90m club is famous in the world of javelin. I hope to enter it this year,” he concluded.
All eyes will be on him with so many events lined up. His fans will be hoping that he performs at his best and remains injury free throughout the season heading into the Paris Olympics next year.