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Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has eyes set on IAAF World Championships

“It’s a big opportunity and I don’t want to let it go,” javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra said of the upcoming IAAF World Championships

other sports Updated: Jul 27, 2017 22:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Neeraj Chopra,IAAF World Championships,javelin throw
Neeraj Chopra is hoping to put best foot forward at the IAAF World Championships.(Getty Images)

With focus on the World Championships in London starting August 4, India’s national record holder in javelin throw Neeraj Chopra is currently camping in the German city of Offenburg.

After participating in the Monaco Diamond League on July 21, where he finished seventh, he flew to Germany. The national champion is training on his own, and will join the team in London at the end of this month.

Chopra said his training is going on expected lines. “My focus this year has been the world meet. It’s a big opportunity and I don’t want to let it go. My aim is to give off my best,” he said, adding the emphasis in the last two weeks has been on “polishing my skills”. He hopes to cross the 87m mark in the competition.

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According to him, the experience gained in the Diamond League (Paris and Monaco) has prepared him mentally. “It was a good opportunity to participate in a highly competitive field,” he said.

Training in Europe ahead of the meet, he said, will be an advantage to get used to the time zone. “The weather conditions are similar to London,” he added.

The world junior record holder began his 2017 season by competing in the Asian Grand Prix.

In the second leg in the Chinese City of Jiaxing in April, he claimed silver with a throw of 83.32m, which was better than the world qualifying mark of 83m.

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Chopra continued to dominate the domestic circuit as well. In June at the Federation Cup meet, his gold-winning throw was 85.63, a meet record and season’s best. A month later, he won gold at the Asian Championships at Bhubaneswar. His best throw of 85.23m was also a championships record.

His personal best though is 86.48m recorded last year at the Under-20 World Championships in Poland.

After Australian throwing expert Garry Calvert quit the national team in May, Chopra has been training on his own. The Athletics Federation of India has roped in former world record holder Uwe Hohn of Germany, who will join the national team in September.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 22:27 IST