Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was satisfied with his season’s best performance at the Federation Cup Athletics Championships on Tuesday and his new coach Uwe Hohn feels that he can even do better with some tweaking in his technique.
“I wanted a big throw in a competition before the CWG and so I completed all my attempts. It is still below my personal best. I am hoping I can cross it and let us see,” Neeraj said after winning gold in his event at the NIS Patiala.
The 20-year-old Neeraj, the favourite and the star attraction of the championships, sent the iron spear to a distance of 85.94m in his final attempt to send the seizable crowd at the NIS Patiala to raptures.
His performance on Tuesday was his best after his 86.48m throw — the current world junior record — which he came up in Poland in 2016 while winning gold in the Junior World Championships. This was also the best ever throw recorded on Indian soil.
His performance is the best of the season among javelin throwers of the Commonwealth countries and he is a bright prospect for a medal in the April 4-5 Gold Coast Games. Before today, Hamish Peacock of Australia was leading the chart of Commonwealth javelin throwers with 83.63m.
Asked his three month stint in Offenburg, Germany under reputed coach Werner Daniels was beneficial, he said, “Yes, it has worked.”
But the legendary Hohn, who joined the national camp here as javelin coach, said that Neeraj needs a few changes in his
technique and if that is done he can be among the best in the world in a few years.
“In terms of the result it was good and it was the moment of the year, but not so good in technique. He was a bit struggling in the first five throws but it was a good throw in the last round. He released the javelin too ealry and it was not in the right direction. Under this weather conditions, the height of the javelin was not ideal.”
“He attacked a little early and not into the javelin. Only his 80 or 85 per cent power was going onto the javelin. I think he can be better in the coming years as he is young. He is following Daniel’s training plans. We adjusted a little bit, not much before the CWG. After the CWG we will see, we will try try to change a little bit in his technique, like relaesing the javelin in right position and having a longer pull.”
He said Neeraj’s technique was all right in 2016 but lost crucial time last year.
“I think 2016 was good for him but he was lost in 2017, did not have core strengths and technique was not good as he had issues with coach (availability). But a few changes in his technique he should among the top in the world in the coming years.”