India’s Neeraj Chopra (gold) poses with his medal after the athletics men's javelin throw final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN
India’s Neeraj Chopra (gold) poses with his medal after the athletics men's javelin throw final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN

New Delhi : India’s only gold medallist in athletics at the 21st Commonwealth Games, young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has set his eyes at achieving a distance of 90m consistently to enhance his chances of winning a medal at the Olympics.

The 20-year-old from Haryana, who clinched the gold at 2016 World Junior Championships, produced a season best of 86.47 metres to claim the yellow metal at Gold Coast to became only the fourth Indian individual in the history of the Games to win a track and field gold.

“I had trained in Germany (under prominent coach Werner Daniels) for three months. I used to train and also cook my own food. I had to work hard for this gold and I hope this motivates others to also take up the sport and do well for the country,” Neeraj told PTI during an interaction which was part of a felicitation program organised by the Indian Army.

“My main target is to achieve a distance of 90m. That is a benchmark at world level and if I can throw that much then I will be able to win a medal at world level and also at Olympics.”         German duo of Johannes Vetter (94.44) and Thomas Röhler (93.90) are placed second and third in the all-time list of top 25 javelin thrower, which is topped by Czech Jan Zelezný (98.48).

Neeraj’s coach legendary German Uwe Hohn, a former world record holder, is the only javelin thrower to cross 100m mark with a throw of 104.80 in 1984, two years before the men’s javelin was re-designed, which shortened the throwing distance by approximately 10 percent.

Talking about his future events, Neeraj said: “Asian Games is next and then of course the Olympics. But before that I will take part in some Diamond League series, where the competition is tough. Then there is also World Championship next year,” said Neeraj, who has a personal best of 86.48m.

“I will train at Patiala and if there is any training opportunity before the Asian Games then I will go.

                “The competition is good in Asian Games, Chinese Taipei, Qatar and there are 2-3 countries who are doing well.”

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