Sports

Paris Olympics 2024: There's Immense Pressure On Neeraj Chopra, Says Valerie Adams

In the Tokyo Games, Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win the track and field gold, finding a distance of 87.58 meters with his javelin

Neeraj Chopra X @Neeraj_chopra1
Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win the track and field gold in the Javelin throw in the Paris Olympics 2024. Photo: X/ @Neeraj_chopra1
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Neeraj Chopra might be feeling the “massive weight of expectations” as he prepares to defend his javelin gold in the upcoming Paris Olympics, reckons legendary New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams. (More Sports News)

In the Tokyo Games, Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win the track and field gold, finding a distance of 87.58 meters with his javelin.

“Neeraj is seasoned. He knows precisely what needs to be done. He'll know what his training looks like, where his competitions are, and what needs to be done to make sure that he's on the right track leading into this (Olympics),” said Adams a two-time Olympic gold winner in 2008 and 2012, during a media interaction.

The 39-year-old, though, urged Neeraj to remain cautious about the expectations around him.

“It's (title defence) a very difficult thing to do. It's every four years but also you know, when you are fantastic everybody loves you but when you don't, sometimes you suffer from something called tall poppy syndrome and as has a negative impact on you.

"But I am wishing him all the best. I know he will do everything in his power to go out there and perform for himself and his country,” she said.

Adams, also a four-time world champion, admitted that doping continues to be a menace in the world of athletics, but said a lot of progress has been made to tackle it.

"Doping is very dangerous to the sport. It continues to be an issue even now. Remember Russia was banned for such a long time because of the doping scandal. But we are making great progress in this space.

"The punishment that is handed out to dopers, has become a lot harsher. So, ethics has leaked in the way in this space and I'm proud to be a part of the normalisation," she noted.

Adams bid adieu to competitive sport after clinching a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, and the Kiwi said it was one of the toughest competitions in her career for a variety of reasons.

"It was my fifth Olympics and it was a very difficult journey. I was there as a mother of two. Secondly, I had to go through a COVID game, and the world was in shutdown mode, which was very scary and surreal.

"I found myself separated from my children. But to have a chance at winning a medal I needed to make these choices. That's why the Tokyo Olympics (bronze) meant more to me than those other two gold medals," she detailed.

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