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Neeraj Chopra not feeling pressure of being Olympic champ, says ‘bas pura zor lagana hai’

Neeraj Chopra spoke to the media after the event and described his performance in the Diamond League 2022, pressure of being Olympic champion and expectation from World Athletics Championships in Oregon this month.

Neeraj Chopra not feeling pressure of being Olympic champ, says ‘bas pura zor lagana hai’

Tokyo Olympics champion Neeraj Chopra is going from strength-to-strength since he has returned to action this year. The javelin star from India has now achieved his personal best as well as smashed the National record twice in the span of couple of weeks. On Thursday (June 30), in his first Diamond League event in 4 years, Neeraj almost hit the 90m mark – finishing second in Stockholm with a throw of 89.94m.

Neeraj Chopra spoke to the media after the event and described his performance in the Diamond League 2022, pressure of being Olympic champion and expectation from World Athletics Championships in Oregon this month. Excerpts from an interview…

How do you feel about your performance today? Did you expect to start off with 89.94m and how does it feel to get a new PB and NR?

NC: Feeling very good, there was no planning that I wanted to achieve the 90m on the first throw. I had the mindset that I needed to give my best. Bas pura zor lagana hai yahi soch thi, kaafi badhiya thi first throw. The throw was very close to 90m and achieving personal best feels nice.

What was going through your mind when Anderson Peters throw over 90m in the third attempt? Did it push you to try to go beyond him in your remaining attempts?

NC: When Anderson Peters crossed 90m, I also felt that I should be able to cross that mark. But when everything is perfect and all things line up then only you can achieve that. In between when we give our full effort on every throw, the body gets tired and it gets tougher with every throw in the end.

I am happy with how I competed today. All my throws were very good today and I am happy with the performance.

There were many people in India trying to follow your performance online and on streams. How does it feel to have had such an impact in a country where athletics is not traditionally followed a lot?

NC: I am happy that people are watching athletics and they are watching even online. There was lot of Indian support who came to watch in the stadium in Stockholm as well. Indian Ambassador was also here, feels good that athletics is doing so well in our country.

Only one Indian has ever won a World Championship medal in Athletics; is there any added pressure on you because of that?

NC: There is no such pressure that we have won only one medal in World Championships in Athletics. Bas apna pura zor lagana hai. There is not much pressure so much, let’s see how the mindset is in Oregon.

You have started your season with 3 events. You will now go to Oregon for the World Championships in a few weeks. How do you feel about your form going in to Oregon? What will you be focusing on now over the next 18-19 days?

NC: Let’s see how I feel in Oregon, every competition is different. When I start competing in big events then I will get to know if I am feeling the pressure of being an Olympic champion or not. There is nothing like that, I am competing with a free mind. I am training well and giving my 100 per cent in competition.

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