'I am close to 90m'- Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra
Neeraj Chopra has achieved so much, but there are two things still out of his reach - a 90m throw and a World Championships gold. He says he just needs favourable conditions to kill both birds with one throw.
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra believes that he is close to breaching the much-anticipated 90-metre mark and just needs favourable conditions to assist him. Neeraj will be playing in the final of the Javelin Throw at World Championships on Sunday, looking to win the one title which has eluded him so far - a World Championships gold.
"Definitely, I'm close. and I think one perfect day with supportive weather conditions will help me achieve the throw," Chopra said during an interview with Jio Cinema.
Last year in the Stockholm Diamond League meet, Neeraj fell agonisingly short of the 90m mark when he threw 89.94m to create a new national record and his personal best.
The Doha Diamond League meet last year saw two javelin throwers get past the 90m mark. Grenada's two-time world champion Anderson Peters recorded the fifth-longest throw in history (93.07m) while Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Jakib Vadlejch had a personal best of 90.88m.
"I think it is a matter of time before the 90m throw comes to me," said Chopra.
Talking about handling pressure on such occasions, Chopra said, "I have somewhat become accustomed to handling pressure. However, when I participate in competitions that occur once every two to four years (like the World Championships and the Olympics), there is undoubtedly a sense of responsibility,"
"But I give my 100% and perform with complete focus. I used to get overwhelmed earlier but now it is under control," added Neeraj.
Neeraj will be competing against Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem, Olympic silver medalist Jakub Vadljech, and his compatriots DP Manu and Kishore Kumar Jena.
"Competing and being consistent at the highest level against the world's best athletes is challenging. I am mentally prepared for the challenge at the World Championships and I want to perform well here," he said.
Neeraj Chopra inspired a generation of Indian athletes when he won the gold medal at Tokyo Olympics.
"It (inspiring everyone) feels good. Especially, when I hear it from other athletes as well. I come from a small village, and I believe that if I can win it for my country, then anyone can," Neeraj said about his feelings about inspiring others.
"I am confident that in the coming years, our performances in the Olympics and World Championships are only going to get better," he signed off.