India's gold at the Olympics | Athletics

Tokyo Olympics | The Uwe Hohn influence on Neeraj Chopra

Flashback: Neeraj with coach Hohn after winning the gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.  

Uwe Hohn, India’s javelin coach, has played a significant role in shaping Neeraj Chopra’s career.

It was while he was training with Hohn that Neeraj won the gold at the 2018 Asian and Commonwealth Games.

A couple of months after Neeraj clinched the gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta with a National record of 88.06m, Hohn had said in an interview, at the Ekamra Sports Literature Festival at Bhubaneswar, that his ward was destined for greater glory.

One of the world’s best

“A medal at the Tokyo Olympics is not beyond him,” he had said. “He is already one of the best in the world.” That was three years ago.

On Saturday at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, Hohn’s words came true. Neeraj had indeed made history. He did what no Indian track-and-field athlete had ever done: win a medal at the Olympics and a gold at that!

Hohn himself had done with a javelin no one else ever has. He is the only one to throw 100m or more, his feat coming on Olympic Day of the athletics meet in Berlin on July 20, 1984. His effort: 104.80m.

That was what he wanted to do since the age of 14, Hohn had said in an interview. Unfortunately for him, he could not compete at the Olympics that year at Los Angeles as East Germany had boycotted the Games.

“I had to miss the Olympics for no fault of mine,” Hohn had said. “I could have won the gold.”

That thought might still be rankling him, but Neeraj’s gold in Tokyo could make him feel better.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 6:15:39 AM |

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