Indian javelin ace Neeraj Chopra heads to Paris Diamond League athletics event
Last year’s world under-20 gold medallist is ranked fifth in the elite field that will compete in the Paris Diamond League event on Saturday.other sports Updated: Jun 29, 2017 18:09 IST
India’s world junior javelin champion Neeraj Chopra will compete in the Diamond League athletics meeting in Paris on Saturday. It will be his first global competition since winning the 2016 under-20 world championships in Poland with a junior world record of 86.48m.
The national record holder is excited to compete against the best in the business, which includes Germany’s Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, whose season’s best is 93.90m.
“The training in the last few months has gone on expected lines. I have reached Paris, and am ready for Saturday’s competition. My focus is on giving my best,” Chopra told HT on Thursday.
The Diamond League competition will be part of the build-up for the August 4-13 world athletics championships in London.
Chopra is one of India’s two male javelin throwers to achieve the entry standard of 83m for the global event. Davinder Singh is the other thrower.
After the Paris meet, Chopra will compete in the Asian championships at Bhubaneswar from July 6-9.
The field in Paris will be world class, but Chopra hopes to makes the best use of the opportunity. His season’s best of 85.63m ranks him fifth in the field of 10 throwers.
Besides Rohler, Germany’s Johannes Vetter Johannes (89.69m), Tero Pitkamaki of Finland (88.27m) and Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic (87.95m) are those who have done better than the Indian thrower this season.
However, Chopra is upbeat. “All ready for Saturday, I hope to do well,” he said.
In the absence of new foreign coach Uwe Hohn of Germany, who will join the national team only in September, national coach Radhakrishnan Nair will accompany Chopra to Paris.
Former German javelin great Hohn was hired by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) after Australian Garry Calvert, who guided Chopra to the world junior title, quit in May and moved to China.