After a long sabbatical, Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra finally kick starts his offseason training. He is currently at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre in California and will continue his training from there. The Gold medalist is preparing for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Athletics Championships.
Neeraj will train at the world class facility for 90 days under the tutelage of his coach Klaus Bartoneitz and physiotherapist Ishaan Marwala.
“It’s time to put the past to rest and focus on the future. Have arrived for my off-season training and look forward to restarting the process of getting better. Immensely grateful to DG sir, Sports Authority of India (SAI), the TOPS and Athletics Federation of India teams and everyone involved in making this happen,” the 23-year-old wrote on Twitter.
The proposal was pushed by the Athletics Federation of India as they wanted Neeraj Chopra to be at his physical best and train at world-class facilities ahead of the flurry of events. The proposal got approved within four hours. However, the cost estimated to train at the Chula Vista Elite Athletic Training Centre is something around 38 lakhs and it is completely covered under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
Athletics Federation of India earlier had another plan in place. They thought training in Potchefstroom would have been a better suited move. But the proposal was not approved mainly due to the omicron variant of COVID-19 spread across South Africa. So the higher authorities were not ready to send the 23-year-old and his team to South Africa. His overall training process was stalled but the Athletics Federation of India worked smartly and found a solution. They did work in close quarters with the Sports Authority of India and decided not to wait for the Mission Olympics Cell meeting to get the proposal approved.
Neeraj Chopra etched his name in history when he won that Gold medal in Tokyo beating all odds. He became the first Indian to win the gold medal in a track and field event and only the second individual Gold medalist from India after star shooter, Abhinav Bindra. The 23-year-old’s main aim now will be to keep up that form and consistency as he looks to bring more glory.