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"Injury was on my mind," says Neeraj Chopra

New Delhi: Neeraj Chopra added another silverware to his cabinet after securing first position in the Javelin throw event of the Dimond League 2023 with the best throw of 87.66 metres.

In a recent press conference, Neeraj Chopra revealed that injury was on his mind before his fifth throw. Chopra's fifth throw of 87.66 metres helped him secure another gold medal in his career. According to the official press conference with SAI, When asked about what was on his mind before his fifth throw. Neeraj Chopra said, "The injury was in my mind before the fifth throw. I had questions about whether I could push myself 100 per cent. I had done two sessions of training before. I was feeling good. But when you come to play the competition, you have your doubts. It was also getting cold. Till 3-4 throws, that barrier was there. After that, when I realized I could do it, I started focusing more and did my warm-up and exercises. Before my fifth throw, I was taking a slow run-up, I increased my speed on the advice of my coach. It improved my throw. We get a lot of Diamond League competitions every year and we qualify for the final through the points we get. The Diamond League final is in Eugene, USA this year. Had I been at the World Championships or Asian Games, I would have pushed myself even harder, but here, I took my time."

Neeraj Chopra a Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Athlete added, "The main competition is World Championship, it is my priority and I need to prepare for it with full fitness."

On why his fifth throws are now his best instead of his first ones, Neeraj Chopra said, "There is no planning. I want to give my 100 per cent in every throw. We can't do a throw of 89 m every time. It goes up and down. A lot of times, my first throw is perfect. But when my initial throws are not good sometimes, I keep myself ready for the final throw. I always have that belief that I will achieve a big throw till the very last one. I usually get success and achieve my target. I try to do well from the first throw itself."

Whether planning or injury management will be key for this season for him, Chopra said, "In starting, everything was nice, the training was nice. I was injury free. But injuries are not in our control and they can happen out of nowhere, they can take time to recover. But TOPS, SAI and the federation support me a lot. I get a good team who helps me out, I get to talk to doctors and I start working on my recovery quickly. Staying injury free will be my focus this time and come into the World Championships 100% fit to give my best mentally and physically."

When asked about his reason for consistency, Neeraj Chopra replied, "Pressure is always there. (During the bad throws. Julian Weber had delivered a good throw. There were some good throwers as well. They could have achieved a big distance out of nowhere anytime. I was trying but not succeeding."

Further adding on he said, "Key to my consistency is that I maintain a minimum standard of throwing. We do not change much in my training, we rather make improvements to it. My body has adapted well to my training. My body language and fitness are always there. The key is to stay fit and not alter your technique too much. Changing your technique also causes problems. I don't change anything, I just make improvements. Rest is a mind game, you don't have to give up and give your best."

When asked whether he improvise in tournaments, the Olympic gold medalist said, "Strategy is to throw as big as quickly. There is no special strategy besides it. I just keep warming up. In athletics, strategies work in running. But here you just have to give your best. You should be able to warm up yourself well and stay positive and rest will follow. It just happens at that moment (throws)."
Neeraj clinched the Lausanne Diamond League 2023 title with the best throw of 87.66 metres on Friday.

He returned from an injury that had caused him to miss some competitions after his Diamond League 2023 event held in Doha in May.
Neeraj's first attempt went invalid and he achieved 83.52 metres in his second attempt. The athlete bettered his throw in the third attempt (85.04 m) and his fourth went invalid again.

Neeraj's 'golden arm' did its magic on the fifth attempt as he achieved a distance of 87.66 m. The sixth attempt was 84.15 m. 

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