Time to put an end to 90m question, says Neeraj Chopra

Vinayak Padmadeo

New Delhi, April 16

As Neeraj Chopra gets ready to begin a new season, the Olympics javelin throw champion said he has some unfinished business. Chopra will make his first appearance of the season at the Doha Diamond League on May 5.

The 25-year-old has his mind set on breaking the 90-metre barrier. Chopra has been facing this question ever since he won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games; and the Indian Army Subedar said he will soon put an end to this questioning.

“I have come prepared for this question. I knew someone would ask this question today as well. I will end this line of questioning this year,” Chopra told the media today.

“I am not irritated at all with this question. I know it is happening because people are confident that I will cross that mark but sometimes it is too much. You never know a good throw of 88 metres may win you a gold medal. It is just a number and the important thing for me is to be able to be consistent and perform better when under pressure. I am not saying it is not important — 90m is a famous club and hopefully we will cross it this year,” the reigning Diamond League champion added.

Chopra has won almost every major gold medal, except for the World Championships, where he won a silver medal in the USA last year. “I have won all big things in this sport except the last time when I won silver at the World Championships. I want to win that as well but there is no pressure on me to win. All I know is to try and give my best in all competitions and this will be my mindset till the day I compete,” he said.

Currently training in Turkey, Chopra said that he has also learned from his past mistakes. He was referring to how he picked up a groin injury during the World Championships.

“I felt something in my groin and I remember telling my coach that I may not go for my fifth throw. I still took two attempts, which was wrong as I got injured. Then I was thinking that I have a chance to win gold but now I think maybe I should have listened to my body and not continued. That is in the past and hopefully I will be injury-free as this is a big year for me in terms of competitions,” he said.

‘Sport is my life’

Neeraj Chopra said that he does not miss socialising as competing and training have become his life now. “Sport is my life. I enjoy training and competing. I do not miss parties. If I do not train, I get the feeling that I am missing out on something. Besides, it is good for your health. It is not as if I do not relax, we travel near our training base on rest days to relax a bit. Also when I am with my family I forget everything else,” he said.

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