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Neeraj Chopra looking forward to competing against newest rival Max Dehning ahead of Paris Olympics

Published at :April 12, 2024 at 9:33 PM
Modified at :May 4, 2024 at 11:30 PM
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(Courtesy : India Today)

Ajay Gandhar

Neeraj Chopra will start his 2024 season in the Doha leg of the Diamond League.

Preparing diligently at his training base in Turkey, Neeraj Chopra is ready to commence his Olympic title defense year, exuding a blend of calm confidence and an acknowledgment of the immense expectations that accompany his status.

As the reigning Olympic and World Champion gears up for the Diamond League season-opener in Doha next month, Neeraj addressed the media on Thursday, shedding light on his preparations and offering insights into his mindset heading into a critical campaign.

Here are some important excerpts from the conversation.

Thoughts on breaching 90m mark at the Olympics

The 90-meter mark has been on everyone’s lips when it comes to the javelin throw, with the burning question on fans’ minds: will the elusive barrier finally be breached by Neeraj Chopra?

Amidst the anticipation, the reigning world champion has calmed nerves, expressing confidence in not just conquering the milestone, but potentially doing so well before the Olympic Games.

“Everything is going well,” the champion assured. “If everything goes well, I will try to break earlier, not just at the Olympics.”

Preparation and participation in tournaments before the Olympics

Neeraj, who’s getting ready for the Paris Olympics, is currently training in Turkey. He’s set to compete in three events before the big games. Next month, he’ll be showing his skills at two well-known meets: the Doha Diamond League and the Paavo Nurmi Games. These competitions are a warm-up for him to be in top form for the Olympics.

Talking about preparation and strategy, “Before the Olympics, I plan to enter three or four competitions. I’ll be taking part in the Diamond Leagues that feature Javelin throw events. Right now, I’m working out the details with my coach. The goal is to take part in top-tier contests and go head-to-head with the best in the field.

Thoughts on new German sensation Max Dehning

Neeraj Chopra is gearing up for a big year, aiming for the Olympics in Paris. Before that, he’s got a bunch of competitions, like the Doha Diamond League. What’s really buzzing in the sports world is this young guy, Max Dehning. The German is only 19 and he’s already throwing the javelin over 90 meters, which is a pretty big deal and something Neeraj is chasing too. Everyone’s looking forward to seeing these two compete.

“This year presents an opportunity for me to compete with Max, as he has already confirmed his attendance at the Paavo Nurmi Games, I have not had the chance to compete against him before, I’m looking forward to the experience and the challenge of our first encounter.”

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Thoughts on Kishore Kumar Jena

Speaking of his fellow athlete, Neeraj said, “Kishore made remarkable strides last year, shining first at the world championships and then continuing his success at the Asian Games. His throw distances have significantly improved.”

Neeraj humorously suggested that Jena might reach the challenging 90m milestone ahead of him.

“Since 2018, my throws have consistently been in the 88m to 90m range. It’s possible that with all the questions about the 90m mark, Kishore might get there before I do. That would be fantastic. Indeed, we’ve made significant advancements in javelin throw, yet the 90m mark remains a goal we strive for,” he said.

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