As Neeraj begins his World Championships campaign at Hayward Field, all eyes are on him.
The time has come that everyone has been waiting for. Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra and his countryman Rohit Yadav will compete in the men’s javelin throw qualification rounds in Group A & B at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in the US early on Friday morning (India time), kicking off their eagerly anticipated World Athletics Championships campaign.
Neeraj is expected to win the qualification round and go to the final, which is set for early Sunday morning on the last day of the competition. Neeraj is trying to become the nation’s first-ever track and field world champion in the event’s 39-year history.
Anju Bobby George, a legendary long jumper, became the first and only Indian to ever win a medal at the World Athletics Championships in 2003 in Paris, taking home bronze with a leap of 6.70 meters.
Neeraj failed to advance to the championship round in his opening match at the 2017 Worlds in London. He was unable to surpass the 83-meter automatic qualification standard; the longest throw he ever made was 82.26 meters.
“I’d like to go into the World Championships with no pressure on my shoulders. I won’t want to carry around an air of invincibility that says, “Oh, I won the Olympics.” I’ll play my natural game and offer everything I’ve got on the field. Every athlete has the gold as their ultimate goal. For me, it’s the same “Neeraj recently disclosed this information to TOI during a private conversation from his training facility in Chula Vista.
At the Worlds, the current CWG and Asian Games champion will try to surpass the 90-meter mark, which he has set his sights on this year. Three weeks prior, Neeraj had finished in second place by launching the spear 89.94 metres, a career-best distance.
Neeraj finished second at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku on June 14 after setting a national record of 89.30 meters.
“I have no power to change distance. I can only throw the javelin with my absolute best effort and maximum force. I am confident that I will cross the 90-meter threshold soon. It’s going to happen, sooner or later. At the Worlds, I’ll try to surpass the goal. It might be 91 or 92 millimeters. We’ll see. I desire that my hunger never subsides “the previous junior world champion added.