when you wear India jersey the josh is different: Neeraj Chopra -

when you wear India jersey the josh is different: Neeraj Chopra

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Javelin star to start outdoor season from May, says his best is yet to come and pressure in Paris 2024 will be inevitable

Khel Today Bureau 

New Delhi: World and Tokyo Olympics javelin champion Neeraj Chopra said pressure will be inevitable when he goes to defend his title in Paris 2024. Saying training and competition is like chalk and cheese, Chopra, on a short break after his training in South Africa said “managing pressure will be inevitable once you enter the Games Village and start focusing on your event.”

Chopra, who will be training in Turkey from this week ahead of returning to outdoor competition for the first time in 2024, said he was in “top physical shape” and “has never felt so good before.” The build-up to Tokyo 2020 was a challenging one for the 26-year-old Chopra who had missed an entire season due to injuries.

“I want to be in best possible shape before Paris. My training sessions have gone off really well so far. I always lay stress on fitness along with strength and technique. This is the best I have felt in a long time but I must add that training and competition are not the same. When you wear the India jersey, the feeling is different, the josh in us is unbelievable,” Chopra added.

Saying the years after Tokyo 2020 have been “very different,” Chopra said his performance indicated his preparation for global tournaments was going all right. 

“I have won medals in two world championships, threw my personal best (89.94 metres at Stockholm), won a dream Diamond League title and even defended my gold at the Asian Games. All in all, I have been in great space and want to carry forward that momentum from May onwards,” said Chopra.

Chopra feels his “best is yet to come.” “I have felt at my best only once before during 2016 world junior championship. But after that I think I can do better and am still not satisfied. I am working hard and let’s see where I finish,” said the javelin superstar.

Does he think the elusive 90 metres is a magic number? Chopra once again reiterated that “distance did not matter to him.” “What matters to me is staying 100% fit, being consistent during the season and delivering on the day that matters. I think there are mistakes to fix and looking at the increasing competition all around, one has to keep improving. The road will close if you think you have done it all,” said Chopra, adding German youngster Max Dehning’s 90.20 metres effort at a German winter meet recently “did not add any pressure” but only indicated that the level of competition this year will be stiff once again.

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