Neeraj Chopra denied missing out on competition in the last five-months even as he rest of the world continued with sporting action.
For someone who ended a 74-year drought for independent India’s first athletic Olympic medal – with a gold, no less – Neeraj Chopra is refreshingly grounded. He is also absolutely clear of his focus, targets and the road ahead. What he isn’t is satisfied with his achievement in Tokyo.
“I have always talked about breaching the 90m mark and my focus remains that. It is a very important target because while winning a medal is one thing, managing a good distance is completely different. The Olympic gold is obviously very important, it was a dream for not just me but the entire nation. But the 90m mark is an important barrier. The best in the world have got it and it is important for me to personally consider myself a genuine world-level thrower,” Neeraj told a select group of journalists from his current training base in Chula Vista, San Diego.
To put an Olympic gold in perspective is a sign of the sporting maturity that Neeraj has always displayed, even as a youngster. But the 24-year old, who stood out for his composure and smooth rhythm on August 7, 2021 when he etched his name in Indian sports history books without a hint of it being his first-ever Olympic outing, admitted that while he understood the importance of the stage, he doesn’t let it affect his performance.