Tokyo Olympics: Neeraj Chopra is good but tough for him to beat me, says Johannes Vetter | Tokyo Olympics News
Former world champion Vetter is the favorite to claim gold, while Chopra is being seen as India’s best bet to end the country’s Olympic medal drought in athletics.
“He (Chopra) threw good shots twice this year. Above 86 meters in Finland. If he’s healthy and in the right form, especially in his technique, he can shoot far,” Vetter said in an interaction with select international media. . organized by World Athletics.
“But he has to fight me. I’m looking to throw more than 90 meters in Tokyo, so it will be difficult for him to beat me.”
The duo first met in 2018 in Offenburg in Germany when they both trained at the same facility.
Chopra was then on a three-month stint in Germany with prominent coach Werner Daniels. He finished second behind Vetter in a competition there.
Three years later, the duo met again in Finland during the Kuortane Games in Finland last month and even traveled together in the same car from Helsinki.
“Neeraj is a very friendly person. We shared a car for four hours from Helsinki to Kuortane and we talked a lot about javelin, family and other things,” Vetter responded to a PTI query.
“I’m always interested in our cultures, our nations, how the sport develops in different countries, etc. We had some good discussions and we talked a lot.”
The 28-year-old Vetter won at Kuortane with a massive 93.59-meter throw, while Chopra was third with 86.79 meters.
The 23-year-old Indian, a medal prospect at the Tokyo Olympics, has a personal best of 88.07m.
Chopra, for his part, said he enjoyed his time with Vetter in 2018 and again last month.
“We had conversations about Indians and Indian food. My English is not that good, but I managed to talk something about the sport, the technique, our shooting and all that,” Chopra said.
Vetter is in top form and the only man in the world to have thrown beyond 90 meters in the last 24 months.
In fact, he has done it 18 times, including a record streak of seven competitions between April and June of this year.
He even threatened the world record last year, dropping 97.76 million in Silesia, Poland, to move to second place on the all-time world list.
His launch was just 72cm from the 98.48m world record set by Czech legend Jan Zelezny.
He may be in the shape of his life, but Vetter doesn’t want to be under pressure thinking about breaking the world record during the Olympics. Instead, he said winning gold in Tokyo would be his priority.
“Not really (world record). The javelin throw is difficult, the technique is very tough. Everything has to be right. The wind conditions will have to be perfect, the surface will have to be perfect and the technique will have to be perfect.
“You have to think about all the angles, the speed, etc. I know I’m in great shape, but I don’t want to push myself so hard. I just want to enjoy such high level competition.
“I just want to see how far it will go and relax. My first priority this year is the Olympics, not the record. But you never know.”
When asked about restrictions at the Tokyo Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said: “I’m just focusing on fitness and my performance. There will be a lot of restrictions at these Olympics, but everyone will have to handle that situation. Everyone will have to try to be smart. ”
The men’s javelin throw qualifying round will be held on August 4 at the Olympic Stadium while the final will be on August 7.