Neeraj Chopra is one of the stars of the Indian contingent that has gone to the Tokyo Olympics this time. The javelin star has been one of the brightest sparks for country in the sport of athletics and there are a lot of hopes attached with him going into the Games. Neeraj holds the national record in javelin and has been striving to cross the 90m mark to boost his chances for a medal in Tokyo.
Neeraj has recuperated from an injury and is looking to put his best foot forward come the Olympics. He said he listens to songs before a competition but mainly it’s the training before it that matters.
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“I listen to a lot of songs before the competition, but I believe if you want to get into a competition with confidence then your training before the competition matters a lot. It’s years of training and hard work that helps you go into a competition in a positive frame of mind," he said during ‘The Torchbearers’ show on Sony Sports Network, the official broadcaster of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Neeraj said he did not believe that he was still a big athlete and said he was still learning. “Had never imagined, I still believe that I am not there yet, have a long way to go and just working towards that. When I was a child, never thought I would get into sports, especially a sport that not many in our country know about, so everything is new and I am still learning."
He said he just started running initially to control his weight and it was that stadium environment that got him into sports. “Parents had sent me for running, to control my weight. They sent me to work on my fitness and to reduce my weight. Once you go to a stadium then that vibe gets you in the mood for any sport. There were a lot of sports there, but I began with Javelin."
“There was a voice from inside that told me, I should pursue this. There were a lot of other sports like Basketball, Football, Cricket, Hockey etc. I saw a senior athlete, who is now my friend, saw him throw and then felt like trying it. After a few days, when I was fit, I tried it and first throw was very good. All my seniors supported me to get into Javelin," Neeraj shared.
Neeraj said being the flagbearer at the 2018 Asian Games was lucky for him and he put his best performance to date over there.
“2018 Asian Games, because I was the flag bearer there, it was a lucky charm for me, as there were a lot of other top athletes but I was given the chance. It also gives you an added responsibility that now you have to take your country’s flag higher. Everyone was expecting a big performance from me and I won the Gold medal there, had broken the National Record too. So 2018 Asian Games was my best performance till date," he said.