Neeraj Chopra : World Championship title is my next target

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Aug 11 : Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who has already scripted history by clinching country’s first athletics gold medal at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, is now targeting World Athletics Championships title, next year.

The 23-year-old Chopra, who hails from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana, on Saturday became only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win an individual Olympic gold in Tokyo when he won the yellow metal in javelin throw with a best effort of 87.58m.

His performance at the Tokyo also ended India’s 100-year wait for a track and field medal in the Olympics.

However, Neeraj is still not content with his gold and is now eyeing a top podium finish in the World Athletics Championships to be held in Oregon, US from July 15-24, 2022.

‘I had already won the gold in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and now the Olympic Games. So, my next target is the gold in the World Athletics Championships (in Oregon) next year, ” Chopra said during a felicitation ceremony organised by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Tuesday.

‘The World Championships is a big competition and sometimes tougher than the Olympic Games. I am not going to be content with this Olympic gold. I will want to win the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games titles again,’ he added.

The champion athlete also felt that his inclusion in the national camp by AFI in 2015 despite finishing fifth during the National Games in Kerala was a turning point in his career.

‘Everything changed after my joining the national camp – equipment, training facilities and diet. The feeling of training with the best Javelin throwers in the country was special,’ he said.

During the ceremony, Athletics Federation of India announced that August 7, the day Neeraj won the historic medal, will be celebrated as National Javelin Throw Day.

‘We will celebrate August 7 as National Javelin Day from next year to mark Neeraj’s victory. All our affiliated units will hold Javelin competitions in the respective States (and Union Territories). And a year later, we will get all our 600-plus district units also to have similar competitions on August 7,’ said AFI Planning Committee Chairman Lalit K Bhanot.

Reacting to announcement, Chopra, India’s first Olympic medallist in track and field sport, said he was humbled by the decision.

‘I am feeling good that the AFI is making my achievement to be remembered in the years to come. I will be happier if my gold medal win inspires youngsters to take to athletics, especially Javelin Throw,’ he said.

‘If the children are getting the Javelins and other facilities, I am sure they will come and take up the sport. I will be happy to cheer for them and they can be medal winners in the future,’ he added.


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