Athletics

Neeraj ready to enter 90m club

The Commonwealth Games gold is now in his pocket, and top coaches feel that Neeraj Chopra is close to the 90m mark.

“Anything is possible as his average over the last few competitions is 85m and the Germans all had this consistency when they went to 88m then to 90m,” Australian Garry Calvert, who coached Neeraj to the 2016 under-20 Worlds gold, told The Hindu from China on Saturday evening.

Asian champion Neeraj, currently the country’s lone world-class athlete, will now have to step up as Taipei’s Chao-Tsun Cheng has pushed the Asian record to a massive 91.36m late last year.

“I saw the Taipei guy last week, he is in very hot form,” said Calvert.

Meanwhile German Werner Daniels, who had coached Neeraj the last few months and who is the big reason behind his historic Gold Coast gold, feels the youngster needs to fine-tune his technique.

“The tip of the javelin is going a bit too high and the angle of his throws is not so good. Will have to work on that,” said Daniels, who also coached former World champion Christina Obergfoll, from his Offenburg base.

Obergfoll’s husband Boris now trains Germany’s World champion Johannes Vetter, and Daniels is part of that team.

AFI’s Finland plans for Neeraj

But Adille Sumariwalla, president of the Athletics Federation of India, made it clear that he was against Neeraj going to Germany. This means that Neeraj, the World’s second best thrower this season, will have his third coach in the last year.

“I’m dead against Neeraj going to Germany,” said Sumariwalla.

“How does Neeraj know what is good for him? We know all the training centres, we know all the coaches. How can a 20-year-old boy know, we have 20 years of experience,” he said.

Sumariwalla revealed that German Uwe Hohn, the new national javelin coach and a former world-record holder, will take a bunch of throwers to Finland for training.

“They are going to Finland in May. From now to the Asian Games is already worked out. But once they come back, we will sit in Delhi and decide our plans till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 12:48:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/neeraj-ready-to-enter-90m-club/article23542785.ece

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