Neeraj Chopra is being dubbed as Johannes Vetter’s biggest competition at the Tokyo Olympics. However, the German javelin thrower is adamant that the Indian athlete will not be a threat to him in Tokyo.
Johannes Vetter will enter the Tokyo Olympics as the favorite to claim gold, while Neeraj Chopra will be competing for India’s first track and field medal post-independence.
"He (Chopra) threw good throws twice this year. Above 86m in Finland. If he is healthy and if he is in the right shape, especially in his technique, he can throw far," Vetter was quoted by World Athletics as saying.
The German continued:
"But he has to fight with me. I am looking to throw over 90m in Tokyo, so it will be tough for him to beat me."
The duo last competed at the Kourtane Games where Johannes Vetter finished top with a massive 93.59m throw. Neeraj Chopra finished third with 86.79m.
The 23-year-old Haryana-born’s personal best was the 88.07m he registered at the Indian Grand Prix in March this year.
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Johannes Vetter in red-hot form
Johannes Vetter is the only thrower in the last 24 months to cross the 90-m barrier. In fact, he has done this 18 times. He almost broke the world record last year, throwing 97.76m in Poland. Johannes Vetter was just 72cm shy of shattering Czech Republic legend Jan Zelezny’s 98.48m record.
"Not really (world record). Javelin throw is difficult, technique is very tough. Everything has to come together. The wind condition will have to be perfect, the surface will have to be perfect and the technique,” he said.
However, his last two events were not exactly how he wanted them to be. At the event in Gateshead (England) and Thum (Germany), he failed to cross the 90m mark for the first time this year. He threw 85.25m and 86.48m respectively.
Johannes Vetter, though furious with the conditions, was happy with the techniques and how his body was reacting. He said that he is now concentrating on winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
The javelin throw event will begin on August 4 with the qualification round. The men’s final will be held on August 7 at Olympic Stadium.
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