Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is not losing sleep over some of his top international rivals producing big early season performances but made it clear that he would want to join the 90m club this year.
Reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada and Tokyo Olympics silver winner Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic had come up with 93.07m and 90.88m throws respectively in the Doha Diamond League on May 13.
But Chopra is not the one to take pressure, thinking about somebody’s performance.
“I don’t take pressure of distance. Peters and Valdech must be working hard and so doing well. It is also my dream to cross 90m and will try to do that this year in some competition,” Chopra said at a virtual interaction from his training base in Turkey.
“I know competition is tough and growing. It also depends on the day’s performance, weather and other conditions, how we manage them. I normally don’t think about surpassing anybody’s performance or record. I just go out to give my best.” The 24-year-old Chopra is currently training at the Gloria Sports Arena in Antalya, Turkey along with his coach Klaus Bartonietz. He has a personal best of 88.07m and won gold in Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.58m.
His first competition of the season will be in Turku, Finland at the Paavo Nurmi Games where he will face Peters, another top thrower Johannes Vetter of Germany who has thrown over 90m several times.
“I don’t have to hit 90m straightway, 86 or 87m at the start of season will be fine,” said Chopra who will be taking the field for the first time after 10 months since winning gold in Tokyo on August 7 last year.
His next event will be on June 18 at Kuortane Games in Finland where he had finished third last year with Vetter taking the gold before the Tokyo Olympics.
Chopra is planning to feature in the top-flight Diamond League Meeting in Stockholm on June 30 before heading for the June 15-24 World Championships in Eugene, USA.