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Asian Games 2018: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra to train in Finland decides AFI

Neeraj will be training under legendary German coach Uwe Hohn, who is the chief national javelin coach

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Exclusive 02 May 2018, 10:25 IST
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16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Seven
Neeraj Chopra

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra will be training under legendary German coach Uwe Hohn, who is also the chief national javelin coach. Apparently, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has 'planned' for the star javelin thrower to go to Finland.

Confirming the development to Sportskeeda, Neeraj said, "Yes, I will be heading to Finland. The federation has planned for me to go there. I do not have any qualms, only thing is the training should go well. I want to improve my mark, and for that, I'll be concentrating on all-round development. Diet and rest will be key, of course."

Previously, Neeraj was working under Werner Daniels in Germany for three months. However, he returned to India and joined the national camp, ahead of the Commonwealth Games, where he worked under Hohn. A couple of weeks back, AFI president Adille Sumariwalla had reportedly said that he was “dead against” the javelin thrower going to Germany and would prefer if he remained in the national camp instead.

Speaking about Hohn, Neeraj expressed how happy he was on working with him. "He (Hohn) is a great motivator, and he has been helping me a lot. Whenever I have any questions, he answers with a smile," the 20-year-old said.

The youngster will join the national camp in Finland from May 10 to June 22 where all the throwers – shot-put, discus throw and javelin – will take part in. The athletes will then return to the country in order to participate in the National Inter-State Athletics Championships which was shifted from Kolkata to Guwahati. The meet, which will also act as qualifiers for the Asian Games, will be held from June 26 to 29.

According to AFI officials, though, Neeraj might not need to take part in the meet and could be an automatic choice, given the fact that he is already throwing well past the qualification mark of 82m. In fact, in Gold Coast, he had thrown a seasonal best of 86.47 metres on his way to gold. However, if he does not take part in Guwahati, he will have to prove his fitness and form on August 15, two weeks prior to Asiad in confirmatory trials.

The Panipat-born athlete's immediate next challenge will be the prestigious Diamond League in Doha on May 4. "I'll give my best effort in Doha, of course, and hopefully, I will be able to perform well," Neeraj concluded.

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