Athletics

Neeraj Chopra | The world beyond 90m

Peep into the future: It would be interesting to see what Neeraj Chopra achieves in the days to come.

Peep into the future: It would be interesting to see what Neeraj Chopra achieves in the days to come. | Photo Credit: Reuters

With his recent 89.94m at the Stockholm Diamond League, Neeraj Chopra is now just six centimetres away from the magical 90m mark. What will he be throwing at his peak?

That’s a future many would like to peep into.

The late Garry Calvert, the Australian coach who moulded Chopra’s career and guided him to the under-20 World Championships gold in 2016, had revealed five years ago that he had worked out a plan for the massive throws.

“The development plan I had would have seen Neeraj do 90m in 12 months and 92 to 95m in two years,” Calvert had told this writer in May 2017 before his departure to China where he died a year later. “He is the best talent I’ve seen in 30 years.”

Not obsessed by it

Chopra himself has made it clear that while 90m remains an important target since it places him among the world’s best, he is not obsessed by it. That he takes it step by step, first 90m, and the bigger throws will follow when the conditions are right.

“I’ve had a feeling, from 2018, that a 90m-plus throw might come any time… just don't know when it will come and am not placing any expectations on myself,” he said recently.

While Chopra’s coach Klaus Bartonietz has kept everything under wraps for the time being, chief national coach Radhakrishnan Nair feels Chopra will uncork some very big ones in a couple of years.

“In javelin throw, the best performance comes around 26 or 27, after about 8000 to 10,000 training hours. Neeraj is 24 so by 2024 we can expect 96-plus throws. Of course, I can’t say what is going to happen in between but as per progression he can go to 95-plus in 2024.”

Former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kashinath Naik puts the number a little lower.

“Neeraj’s confidence is high and if he continues training well, he can do 92 to 93m,” he said.


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Printable version | Jul 9, 2022 6:10:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/neeraj-chopra-the-world-beyond-90m/article65618002.ece