Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has admitted that he will need to consistently cross the 90m mark to truly stand a chance to win medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Chopra, 20, established himself as one of the top athletes in the event in the last few years. This year, he won gold medals at the Commonwealth and Asian Games. At the Asiad, the Haryana athlete created a national record with a throw of 88.06m.
“Both Commonwealth & Asian Gmaes were important and I have won gold at both the games, it has been a great experience. Now we will target for a 90m+ throw in Olympics, we have two years,” he was qouted as saying.
Neeraj Chopra who won a gold medal in men's javelin throw final at #AsianGames2018 says, “Both Commonwealth & AsianGmaes were important & I have won gold at both the games, it has been a great experience. Now we will target for a 90m+ throw in Olympics, we have 2 years.” pic.twitter.com/pLh8sWfw9n— ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2018
But any effort less than the magical 90m will be considered a waste in the Olympics, with Germans and other European throwers consistently hitting the 90m mark.
A throw of 88.06m would have assured a medal in any of the last three Olympics, but there's no guarantee that it will be so in the next Games.
The season's leading throw is 92.70m by German Johannes Vetter. Then there are two other Germans, Thomas Rohler and Andreas Hofmann. Both have breached the 91m mark.
Currently there are six active athletes who have crossed the 90m mark, including the three Germans. All of them will be fighting for medals in two years time, including those whoa are hovering around that magical mark.
World record: Jan Zelezny (CZE) 98.48m
Olympic record: Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) 90.57m
2016 Rio Games: Gold - Thomas Rohler (GER) 90.30; Silver - Julius Yego (KEN) 88.24; Bronze - Keshorn Walcott (TTO) 85.38
2012 London Games: Gold - Keshorn Walcott (TTO) 84.58; Silver - Antti Ruuskanen (FIN) - 84.12; Bronze - Vitezslav Vesely (CZE) 83.34
2008 Beijing Games: Gold - Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) 90.57; Silver - Ainars Kovals (LAT) 86.64; Bronze - Tero Pitkamaki (FIN) 86.16
Indepedent India have never won an athletics medal at the Olympics. Norman Pritchard, however, won two silver medals at the 1900 Paris Games in the men's 200m and 200m hurdles.
If Chopra is to become the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic medal, he will at least has to start producing 90m+ throws consistently.