'Tokyo triumph made me more humble': Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra

Olympic champion Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra will be back in action the Doha Diamond League to open his season.

Update: 2024-04-11 09:50 GMT

Sources: DNA News

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra is set to return to action at the upcoming Doha Diamond League and will start his season in the competition.

The 26-year-old Javelin thrower will be defending his Olympic title at the 2024 Paris Olympics later this year. Talking about his Tokyo triumph and how it impacted him, Neeraj said that it made him more humble.

Answering a question about what changed after Tokyo, Neeraj said," There is a saying 'jitna jis ped me fal lagta hai woh aur jhukh jata hai' (a tree with more fruits bends more). I think the same has happened with me as I met so many people and had so many experiences after Tokyo."

"The more I won, the more it made me humble without letting the popularity get inside my head," he added further.

As an athlete, Neeraj believes his medal cabinet has become more decorated now.

"I have done well at all the events after Tokyo. I’ve also become more experienced. Before Tokyo, I didn’t have a world medal or even a Diamond League position, that’s changed now. I’ve got medals at the World Championships, and have always finished well at the Diamond League," Neeraj told the media in an online press conference.

"Earlier, I was just happy to participate in all the tournaments but now I have to perform and win. Tokyo also boosted my self-confidence," he added further.

Currently training in Turkey, Neeraj has planned to participate in three tournaments in the build-up to the Olympics. Two of them are the Doha Diamond League and the Paavo Nurmi Games next month.

Talking about his strategy, Neeraj said," I will compete three or four times before the Olympics. I will compete in the Diamond Leagues where Javelin Throw is listed. I am still discussing with the coach and the plan is to play in high-level competitions to compete against the best."

Despite injury last season, Neeraj had a good season where he defended his Asian Games title and became the first-ever Indian to win a World Championship gold medal.

Neeraj has been stuck between the 87-88m mark since Tokyo and wished to break the much talked about 90m barrier.

"I will try to breach the 90m mark before the Paris Olympics. Hopefully, it happens before Paris, and everything is going smoothly, so (people) might not have to wait till the Olympics, it might happen before that. The preparation is good," said Neeraj.

While Neeraj has not breached the 90m mark, he is the most consistent thrower in the circuit winning six tournaments out of eight tournaments he featured in last year.

Explaining his consistency, Neeraj said, "One has to be consistent in training for consistent performance. I rarely take breaks from my training. Apart from training, I have to be consistent with my diet and recovery."

Right before his Olympics title defence, Neeraj said that he is feeling that he is going to his second Olympics with all the talk around it.

"It’s there in my mind that I should win the Olympics again. I am not working specifically on my mental training but I have the realization that this is my second Olympics," Neeraj signed off.


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