Neeraj Chopra, the reigning Olympic gold medalist talked at length about the current state of his career with Indian journalists from his training base in Antalya, Turkey earlier this Sunday, in a virtual press conference. He was clear in his mind about putting the 90m question to bed and winning the gold at the World Championships to finish off the 2023 season.
The poster boy of Indian Athletics was quoted as saying to The Bridge, “Iss baar 90m ka sawaal khatam hi kar dunga. Tokyo se nahi, 2018 Asian aur Commonwealth Games se puch rahe hai (I will put an end to the 90m question this season. People have been asking me this question since before the Tokyo Olympics).”
Neeraj Chopra elaborated on what it would mean for him to throw the javelin over 90m in the upcoming season. “For me, 90m is just a distance. The biggest objective for me in any competition is to handle the conditions, and weather and end up winning. My focus is on consistency. I am not saying 90m does not matter, but it is just a number.”
The closest Neeraj Chopra came to achieving the milestone was at the Stockholm Diamond League on June 30 last year when he ended up throwing the javelin at 89.94m.
The Khel Ratna award winner in 2021, Neeraj Chopra has also set his sight on winning the gold at the World Championship in 2023 season. He said, “I have won all the major titles, but not the World Championships. I would love to have that silver upgraded to gold but do not have any pressure of doing that.”
It was on July 24 last year when Neeraj Chopra threw the javelin at 88.13m and finished second behind Anderson Peters of Grenada to win an historic silver at the World Championship in Eugene, USA.
Neeraj Chorpa will return to competition at the Doha Diamond League on May 5 this year in Qatar. He last competed at the Diamond League Finals on September 9, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland where he won the trophy with a javelin throw of 88.44m.