As the 25-year-old steadily prepares for the 2024 Paris Olympics, India’s Olympic javelin champion is training in the UK to improve his fitness and will hone his technique in South Africa.
When Michael Johnson selects you for special praise, it means serious business. So, it’s not surprising that Neeraj Chopra is “honored and humbled” to have the American track legend and four-time Olympic gold medalist give him a thumbs up.
Johnson exclaimed, in response to a video of Chopra sprinting earlier this week, “He’s a javelin thrower! A javelin thrower, but not an Olympic champion. With sprinting and jumping movements!”
In the video, Chopra is seen performing a variety of speed-building exercises, including traditional sprints, high knees, and lateral runs.
I’ve been following this warm-up routine for some time now. In a virtual press conference on Saturday, Chopra.
Who is currently undergoing pre-season training at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, stating, “The idea is to get a faster and more powerful run-up.”
Being acknowledged by someone like him is a great honor. It’s awesome that Johnson, a track and field legend, was impressed by my sprint.
Since returning from a break, Chopra has been working on his strength and power under the guidance of German biomechanics expert Dr. Klaus Bartonietz and with support from physiotherapist Ishaan Marwaha.
He hasn’t started throwing the spear yet, but he is working on conditioning his deltoids by throwing heavy medicine balls (8-10 kg).
Chopra, in contrast to Anderson Peters and Johannes Vetter, uses a technique that emphasizes flexibility rather than raw power. He is aware of the dangers of over-bulking.
While Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win a medal at the World Championships in 2022 and also won the Diamond League Final, the elusive 90-meter mark remained elusive.
This year, he wants to clear the air. He stated, “I want to put an end to that question once and for all.” Look, I really want to hit this mark because it gives elite throwers a reason to be proud of themselves.
However, I am not feeling any undue pressure as a result. I want to improve on my personal best from last year.
At the Stockholm Diamond League the previous year, Chopra came agonizingly close to the mark with 89.94m. In 2022, he went over 89 meters three times in three months.
In Stockholm, the 25-year-old believes he could have broken the barrier by being slightly more aggressive.
“I was in great rhythm, but I was six centimeters short.” I could have gone past 90 meters if I had run an additional 20 cm. In any case, no second thoughts.
Chopra will begin his season slightly later than last year, “around May-June.” The goal is to reach peak physical and technical performance around the Asian Games (September 23-October 8),” Chopra stated.
His next stop will be warmer South Africa, where he will begin his throwing routines. In addition, Chopra is working on minor technical adjustments with the intention of defending his Olympic title in Paris the following year.
“Of course, Paris is on my mind, and I’ll make any necessary technical adjustments this year to build muscle memory.”
We worked on minor adjustments to my blocking (front) leg and trailing (back) leg ankle last year. This year, we’ll try that at competitions, he said.
Germany’s Vetter and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem will both return from injuries this year. Nadeem entered the prestigious club on the way to winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Whereas Vetter throws 90 meters frequently. The field appears to be quite full when you add Thomas Rohler, who had an injury-ravaged 2022.
Peters, who had a riveting rivalry with the Indian last year. The fact that all of these men are returning is positive. Going up against the best in the business will be entertaining. Neither the 90-meter race nor the competition exerts any pressure on you.