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Verve Trendsetters
March 01, 2017

Neeraj Chopra On Scoring A Javelin World Record

Text by Zaral Shah

The athlete from Panipat became the first Indian world champion in a field event

Clinching the gold at the under-20 world athletics championship in Poland last year is one of the army enrolee’s many achievements. Neeraj Chopra started his journey at a small training facility a few kilometres away from home, and is today throwing the javelin professionally for India. In his free time, the athlete enjoys playing video games to unwind.

On your first throw
It felt strange. Because though I had trained, I had never competed before. My performance wasn’t the best…but by the end of the day I eased up and began drawing courage by looking at the others competing with me. Though from purely a performance point of view, it was one to forget!

You, in three words
Hard-working (isn’t every athlete?), stubborn for the right things and respectful. I’ve always believed in giving more respect than I get.

On a day off
I believe that I should know every sport at least at a basic level. So when I’m not throwing the javelin, I’m busy trying to better myself at other games. I enjoy shopping a lot — it’s something that helps me relax. I also like listening to music.

On breaking the world record
I have never concentrated on a throw in my life as much as I did before the one that set the record. Once I hit the mark, it took a while for it to sink in but the first emotion was pride, to have done something noteworthy for my country.

On your bucket list
Winning a gold at the Olympic Games with a record throw and serv- ing my country. I don’t have too many wishes that are materialistic so this list might be a little disappointing.

Advice for aspirants
Once you know your target, you have to channel all your energy towards attaining it. The road has to be straight with no distractions. I know it can get difficult at times, but at no point should you lose sight of your goal.

Looking ahead

The single thing that I will be chasing in 2017 is the senior world champion- ship in London this August.

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