• Saturday, September 23, 2023


Neeraj Chopra upbeat about his chances in Budapest

By: Eastern Eye

A WORLD Championships gold is the only medal missing in Neeraj Chopra’s  decorated cabinet and the superstar Indian javelin thrower will fancy his chances as no clear-cut favourite has emerged ahead of the showpiece in Budapest. 

Chopra, 25, has won gold medals in Olympics (Tokyo in 2021), Asian Games (2018) and Commonwealth Games (2018), besides becoming the Diamond League champion last year. 

 He won a silver in the 2022 World Championships in the US. 

 If Chopra wins a gold, he will become only the second Indian after shooter Abhinav Bindra to win a yellow metal each in the Olympics and World Championships in individual sport. 

 Bindra, the first Indian individual event Olympic gold winner in 2008, had also achieved a World Championships top podium finish in 10m air rifle in 2006 in Zagreb. 

 Going by the current form of the top javelin throwers, there is no hot favourite to stand on the top of the podium after the August 27 final. 

 The qualification round will be held two days earlier. 

 Chopra competed in only two top class competitions this season, winning gold in both of them – Doha and Lausanne Diamond League Meetings on May 5 and June 30, respectively. He had an injury lay-off of one month in between the two events after straining his muscles while training. 

 With nearly two months of rest and training, Chopra said he’s ready for the big event, which is of identical stature as the Olympics. “Competing and being consistent at the highest level against the world’s best athletes is definitely challenging. I want to give it my best, and if that happens, I will come back better than before,” said Chopra. “I got injured which led me to skip a few competitions. After that, I returned and participated in the Lausanne Diamond League, where my performance was good. Since then, everything has gotten better, and I am happy with my performance and training,” Chopra said. 


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