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"Haven't reached my best yet, not satisfied with my throw...": Neeraj Chopra

NEW DELHI: Olympic and World champion Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra feels that he has not reached his peak yet and revealed the throw eight years back which is the only throw that has ever left him satisfied in his career.

Neeraj exhibited the basics of throwing a javelin to former Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik on JioCinema's 'Get Set Gold,' where he also showed his personable side by discussing some of his off-court interests, such as his hobbies, favourite movies, and the kind of music he listens to before competing.

Neeraj shared how his throw in the World Under-20 Championships 2016, is the only throw he has been satisfied with.

"To date, I am only satisfied with one throw of mine, which was 86.48 m in the World Under-20 Championships 2016. That was one throw where I felt it was a special, unique one, but I have not been satisfied with any throw since. I feel I have not got to my peak yet; I have won gold and won a lot of competitions, but I still believe I have not reached my best and I am not satisfied with my throw yet," said Neeraj.

The 2023 World Champion opened up on his hobbies, including a short-lived habit of shopping that led to a complicated overseas purchase.

"I have many hobbies. I like hanging out with my friends. I also liked shopping a lot, but now I shop less because it feels like a waste of money. We can spend that money elsewhere. I like collecting unique things. I once went past a shop in Germany that had unique art pieces. I liked a statue of a warrior sitting on a horse, throwing a spear, more like throwing a javelin, so I bought it without even thinking. It was of 20 kilograms. Later, I thought, 'How will I take it to India?' Finally, a brother of mine managed it," said Neeraj.

Chopra also revealed how he spent his time during the COVID-19 lockdown watching various classic Hollywood movies.

"During the lockdown, I watched movies with the best IMDb ratings. So, there was The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, A Beautiful Mind, and The Pianist. I recently watched a movie, Society of the Snow. I would like to tell everyone to watch it. It makes me feel like our lives are much better," he added.

As Karthik was recovering after working out like Chopra, the Padma Shri recipient shared the kind of music he listens to before competing.

"I do not have a favourite playlist but during events, I mostly listen to loud music, like Imagine Dragons. Once I was competing in the Asian Games and I had listened to Shiv Tandav, it gave me goosebumps. I like (adrenaline-pumping music) because normally, I am fine, but when I compete, I get very aggressive," said the star javelin thrower.

Chopra is among the best javelin throw athletes in the world right now, as the incumbent Olympic (Tokyo 2020) and World Champion (Budapest 2023). He earned the silver medal at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene. Chopra has also won the Asian Games Gold medal twice as well in 2018 and 2022.

Neeraj pulled himself out of the Ostrava Golden Spike 2024 athletics meet in the Czech Republic due to an injury. The event is set to take place on May 28 due to an injury scare.

Neeraj took to Instagram earlier in May and clarified that he is not injured, but he felt something in his adductor. Not wanting to risk his body and face an injury ahead of the Paris Olympics starting from July 26 this year, he has decided to withdraw from the competition and will not play any competitions until he feels fully okay.

"Hello everyone! Following a recent throwing session, I decided not to compete in Ostrava as I felt something in my adductor. I have had problems with it in the past and pushing it at this stage can lead to injury. Just to clarify, I am not injured but I do not want to take any risk during the Olympic year so had to take this decision. Once I feel it's fully recovered, I will get back to competitions. Thank you for your support," said Neeraj on Instagram.

This marks the second successive year that Neeraj had to pull out of the Ostrava Golden Spike. He was also listed to compete last year but failed to make it due to a muscle injury.

The Ostrava meet was supposed to be Neeraj Chopra's third competitive outing of the season.

Before the start of the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024, Neeraj started his season at the Doha Diamond League on May 11 and ended in second place with a throw of 88.36m.

Recently, Chopra competed at the Federation Cup athletics meet in Bhubaneswar on May 15 and won the gold medal in his first competitive outing in India since 2021. The ace javelin thrower logged a stunning throw of 82.27m to beat Manu DP at the Kalinga Stadium. This was his first domestic competition after his gold medal win in the Tokyo Olympics back in 2021.

Neeraj Chopra is listed to compete in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland's Turku next on June 18.



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