Neeraj Chopra (Photo/ SAI Media Twitter)
Neeraj Chopra (Photo/ SAI Media Twitter)

Tokyo Olympics: Need to bring out my A-game to win Khel Ratna, says Neeraj Chopra

ANI | Updated: Jul 11, 2021 16:08 IST

Uppsala [Sweden], July 11 (ANI): Tokyo-bound javelin thrower from India, Neeraj Chopra is "ready" to showcase his skills in the upcoming Olympic Games and he is hoping to bank on the recent experience of playing in the international tournaments to give his best shot in the quadrennial event.
The 23-year-old, however, has skipped the upcoming Diamond League event in London as he feels the remaining time should be invested in training for the Tokyo Olympics.
"We do not have UK Visa and it is difficult to get a UK Visa here at this particular time. This time is more important for training for the Olympics. Hence, I cannot waste my time anywhere else," said Chopra in a virtual press conference on Sunday.
"After Olympics, there are two more Diamond leagues, so I can participate in those tournaments after Olympics also. And the Kuortane Games were good for me, so I thought of skipping the upcoming Diamond League," he added.
In June's last week, Chopra won the bronze medal at the Kuortane Games in Finland. His 86.79m throw helped him finish behind world number one and 2017 world champion Johannes Vetter of Germany and London 2012 gold medallist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago.
Chopra came into the Kuortane meet on the back of back-to-back gold medals in Europe. His first was at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa in Portugal with an 83.18m throw and the second at the Karlstad leg of the Folksam Grand Prix in Sweden with an 80.96m attempt.
"I have a little more than three weeks of time with me and the competition in which I participate was necessary for me ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Moreover, I will have the same opponents in the Olympics also, so it was nice for me to get into the groove with international tournaments experience," Chopra responded to a query from ANI.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has recommended Neeraj Chopra's name for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Having already been nominated thrice on the previous occasion, Chopra feels he needs to outperform in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics to win the award this time.

"I have been nominated for Khel Ratna earlier also but I did not win. I feel I have to bring out my A-game to bag Khel Ratna award," he told ANI.
Talking about the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and his training, Chopra said, "I feel the D-day will decide as it only matters how you perform on the day of the competition. There are throwers who have a better record than me but then what matters is how we perform on the given date.
"The way is my training is going on, I am ready for the Olympics but then it again depends on how that particular day goes, from my side I will definitely give my best and bring a medal for the country," he added.
The ace javelin thrower said his recent stints in the international competitions have provided him the momentum for the Olympics.
"I have played these competitions after a long gap, I feel the 2018 Continental Cup was the last tournament where I played among the best throwers. So these competitions were important for me to get into groove ahead of Tokyo Olympics," said Chopra.
The members of the Indian cricket team (both men and women) got behind the country's Olympic-bound contingent and urged the citizens to keep the morale of the athletes high.
The official Twitter handle of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shared a video on Saturday in which the likes of Mithali Raj, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jemimah Rodrigues, Ajinkya Rahane, Harleen Deol were seen saying "Cheer 4 India."
Chopra said seeing the whole nation cheering for the athletes brings positivity all around and he promised that he will leave no stone unturned in giving his best in the upcoming Olympics.
"It is a big thing that all nation is praying for us. This brings so much positivity, it is good all big sports personalities are supporting us. I just want to say thank you and I will leave no stone unturned in the Olympics," Chopra signed off. (ANI)