There are big expectations from Neeraj Chopra at the World Athletics Championships that begins in Oregon from July 15. The Tokyo gold medallist has raised the expectations himself from the his three outstanding shows at the first three javelin throw events of his season. He started off the season, setting a new personal best 89.30 metres at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, bettering his own previous national record of 88.07 meters which he had set in Patiala in March last year. He then clinched a gold in tough conditions at the Kuortane Games a few days later. Neeraj returned at the Stockholm Diamond League on June 30 to set a new personal best of 89.94m, just 6cm shy of the elusive 90m mark.
In a nutshell, the 24-year-old has had a great run in the season and now aims for an even better show when he takes on the likes of Anderson Peters, Jakub Vadlejch and Julian Weber for the gold medal. Not to forget, Neeraj has never won at the Worlds and this time he hopes not to repeat the mistakes he committed in the last edition, where he failed to reach the final round.
Speaking from his training base in Chula Vista in USA, Neeraj said, “My target is to give my 100 percent at the World Championships like it was before Tokyo Olympics 2020. One thing I learned from the last World Championship is to stay focussed even during the qualification round. I made the mistake of taking it little lightly in London World Championships. I want to give my best, have not thought about distance or anything.”
Speaking further about his training, Neeraj said that the preparation has been up to the mark and his confidence is on the rise with super throws in the first three competitions in the season.
“The preparation for the World Championships is going well. I did well in the first three competitions of the season, setting my personal best twice….the takeaways from my 3 competitions is that I have not only thrown big but I have also been consistent. That is why I am feeling good about myself. Confidence has increased for sure. 90m is quite close for me,” said Neeraj.
Neeraj added that he and his team have not changed much as far as training for the all-important World Championships is concerned as making any change can make one injury prone.
“We have not made many changes in training. But percentage of training varies, as per coaches. Like If I am lifting, then at what percentage should I do it. Likewise for Throw and sprinting and jump. Following the same plan, nothing new has been added. We don’t add anything new to exercises when we are near to competition as we become prone to injuries,” said Neeraj.