Pressure In Paris Will Be Inevitable, When You Wear An India Jersey The Josh Is Different: Neeraj Chopra

Pressure In Paris Will Be Inevitable, When You Wear An India Jersey The Josh Is Different: Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra was the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic Gold medal in athletics at Tokyo Olympics 2021.

IANSUpdated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 10:18 PM IST
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Neeraj Chopra | Credits: Twitter

As the next Olympic Games draws closer with each passing day, India's 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 are like chalk and cheese, Chopra, on a short break after his training in South Africa, and will be soon be getting into training mode again in Turkey to prepare for the outdoor season as he will start his campaign in May.

Chopra 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.”

Josh in us is unbelievable: Neeraj Chopra

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. But for the Paris Olympic Games, the 26-year-old wants to be in top physical and mental condition. “I want to be in the 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 was quoted as saying by SAI Media on Friday.

Saying the years after Tokyo 2020 have been “very different,” the 26-year-old from Haryana 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.

Neeraj Chopra on joining elusive 90-metre club

Asked about the elusive 90-metre mark and whether others achieving it adds to the pressure on him, 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.

He added that 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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