So it saddens me that shooting won’t be a part of the 2022 Commo-nwealth Games.
New Delhi: India’s only gold medallist in athletics at the 21st Commonwealth Games, young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has his eyes on achieving a distance of 90m consistently to enhance his chances of winning a medal at the Olympics.
The 20-year-old from Haryana, who clinched gold at the 2016 world junior championships, produced a season’s best of 86.47 metres to claim the yellow metal at Gold Coast to became only the fourth Indian individual in the history of the Games to win a track and field gold.
“I trained in Germany (under Werner Daniels) for three months. I used to train and cook my own food. I had to work hard for this gold and I hope this motivates others to also take up the sport and do well for the country,” Neeraj said at an interaction organised by the Army.
“My main target is to achieve a distance of 90m. That is a benchmark at world level and if I can throw that much then I will be able to win a medal at world level and also at Olympics.”
Talking about his future events, Neeraj said: “The Asian Games is next and then the Olympics. But before that I will take part in some Diamond League series, where the competition is tough. Then there is also world championship next year.”
‘No shooting at 2022 CWG will affect youngsters’
Ace marksmen Jitu Rai is worried about the adverse effect that non-inclusion of the sport in the 2022 Birmingham Games will have on young talent, particularly after the performance of the Indian shooting contingent in Gold Coast.
“We win lot of medals in shooting (at the CWGs). Look at the kids who are doing so well and they will only do better as they go along. So it saddens me that shooting won’t be a part of the 2022 Commo-nwealth Games. It will affect young medal prospects of our country,” Jitu said.
“But it is not in our hands. We can only shoot and that is what we are doing. Whether to include the sport or not, is in the hands of government. But I am still hopeful that it will be included,” he said.
Asked if he agreed with parent body NRAI, which has asked India to boycott the 2022 Games if shooting was not included as a discipline, Rai said, “If NRAI has said, then it is right. We were winning so many medals in shooting. I support the NRAI and government.”