Throwers have no finish line: Neeraj Chopra

12:36 PM Aug 28, 2023 | PTI |

Neeraj Chopra has won every title his sport offers but the Olympic champion is not someone who would sit on laurels, rather he would push himself to excel further since ”throwers have no finish line”.


Chopra on Sunday became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the World Championships with a big throw of 88.17m. A World Championships gold was the only missing trophy in his decorated cabinet. Besides the Tokyo Olympics gold, he has won the yellow metal in the Asian Games (2018) and Commonwealth Games (2018). He has also won four individual Diamond League Meeting titles (two each in 2022 and 2023) apart from Diamond League champion’s trophy last year.

He also became junior world champion in 2016 and won the Asian Championships title in 2017.

So, what remains to achieve now? ”There is a saying that throwers have no finish line. The best thing is that we have our javelin. We can always push ourselves. I may have won a lot of medals but the motivation is to throw farther and farther,” Chopra said during a virtual interaction.

”By winning these medals, I should not think that I have achieved everything. I will work harder, push myself harder to win more medals and bring more laurels for my country. If other Indians join me on the podium next time, that will be great,” he said.


The talk of throwing 90m has been going on for the last three-four years but Chopra insisted that it’s not a mental hurdle for him.

”I was feeling very good this year and thought I would throw 90m. But in between groin injury has come and created problem. I had throws very close to 90m last year. It will come some day but don’t know when. I won’t take pressure thinking for that. ”What is more important is the medal. I give more importance to consistency, that gives confidence in big events. ”When I reach 90m, I will also try to keep it consistent. I have been working hard and waiting when will it come,” said the 25-year-old Chopra, in ominous signs for the rest of rivals in the world.

He said it was a dream come true to win the World Championships gold medal.

“This was great. After the Olympic gold, I really wanted to win the World Championships. I just wanted to throw farther. This is brilliant for the national team, but it was my dream to win gold at the World Championships.

”This has been a great championships for India, and I am proud to bring another title to my country. I wanted to throw more than 90 metres tonight but it needs all parts of the puzzle to be there. I couldn’t put it all together this evening. Maybe next time.” Not 100 per cent fit, recent groin injury in mind

Chopra had suffered a groin injury (adductor muscles) while training abroad in between his two Diamond League titles in Doha (May) and Lausanne (June 30). That led to him missing three top competitions. He rested and trained for nearly two months after June 30 without taking part in any competition after June 30 and went straight to World Championships.

”I thought I can produce very good throws till the last attempt. But I had to be cautious, thinking about the groin strain and at the same time had to push myself. I had to take care of my adductor (muscles) and focus on my throws also, that was the issue,” he said.

”I will try to be healthy and remain injury-free, prepare and try the best way possible for Paris Olympics,” said the Indian superstar.

Rivalry between him and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem

Chopra said he will not take the portrayal of his competition with Arshad Nadeem, who won a silver on Sunday with a throw of 87.82m, as Indo-Pak javelin rivalry too seriously.

”It is being made like that (Indo-Pak rivalry) there (at home). I don’t use mobile much before competition but when I opened I saw India vs Pakistan everywhere. It’s all right.

”There (back home) we always have this India-Pakistan thing, that is good for competition but in global events we have to focus on every competitor.” If you see European athletes, they are very tough, they can do anything, anytime. Not only Arshad, Jakub Vadlejch (bronze winner of Czech Republic) is a very good thrower. We have to think for every thrower till the last throw.” He said he felt good for Nadeem, also the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, and they spoke to each other after the final.

”We said our two countries are growing in athletics. Earlier, there were more Europeans doing well (in javelin) but now we are competing against them and winning medals. It is good for our countries. ”People used to create pressure of india-Pakistan rivalry. I think people back home will make more (hype) during the Asian Games. It’s OK, rivalry is there but my approach is ‘take it easy, keep healthy and believe in yourself’,” Chopra said.


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