Neeraj Chopra happy with his national record breaking throw

NEW DELHI: Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, who bettered his national record in his very first event since the Olympics, has already set his eyes on the next events and said that he is aiming to improve further in the coming months. Neeraj set the new NR with a throw of 89.30 metres at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, an effort which fetched him a silver at the meet. Oliver Helander, the local favourite, topped the list with a throw of 89.83m.

“This was my first competition since the Tokyo Olympics and it went really well as in the first competition itself, I hit my personal best throw and also won the silver medal. Now I am aiming for the next few events which would be bigger than this and of course the Commonwealth Games, where I will face a lot of competition.”

Neeraj said speaking to SAI. Neeraj’s previous national record was 88.07m, which he had set in March in Patiala last year. A few months later, on August 7, 2021, the Panipat lad went on to become the first Indian player to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics with a throw of 87.58m.

Neeraj Chopra creates new national record, betters own Tokyo Olympics gold throwIn his first attempt, Neeraj reached 86.92m before propelling the spear to 89.30m in his second attempt. The 24-year-old’s next three tries were all fouls. In his sixth and last attempt, he threw his spear to 85.85m. Neeraj said that the event gave him a confidence boost and now he aims to improve upon what he learned at the Paavo Nurmi Games.

“I got a good start here, so it has definitely boosted my confidence that I can perform better and I will take the shortcomings from here and improve upon them as we head for a bigger event.” Neeraj, who is currently training in Kuortane, Finland for the upcoming Diamond League event in Stockholm, is part of Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) which gives personalised support to athletes.

Since the Olympics in Tokyo last year, all of Neeraj’s foreign exposure trips have been funded under the TOPS. He had started his training initially at United States’ Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre for three months, followed by another three months of training at the Gloria Sports Arena in Antalya, Turkey, and now he is currently training at Kuortane, Finland’s Kuortane Olympic Training Centre till June 22nd and is also set to compete in Kuortane Games which will take place on June 18th. Later this year, Neeraj is also scheduled to compete in World Athletics Championships in July, followed by Commonwealth Games in August.