New Delhi, Sept 1 (PTI) Superstar javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Friday said he will do everything under the sun to defend his Olympic title in Paris next year and his World Championships title in 2025.
The 25-year-old Chopra on Sunday became only the third javelin thrower in history to hold both the Olympic and World Championships crowns after winning the worlds title in Budapest.
Asked if he can emulate the legendary Czech Republic athlete Jan Zelezny, who won three Olympics and three World Championships titles, Chopra said, “Everything is possible if I remain motivated and focussed in my game.”
“My endeavour would be to defend my title (Mera koshish hai ki mujhe mera title phirse dohraana hai) and whatever hard work I need to do to achieve that, I will do.”
Before Chopra, the iconic Zelezny and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway had held the Olympics and World Championships title simultaneously.
Zelezny, also Chopra’s idol, clinched the Olympics gold in 1992, 1996 and 2000 while winning World Championships title in 1993, 1995 and 2001.
Thorkildsen won gold in the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 World Championships.
Chopra, however, admitted that it would be a big challenge to defend his Olympics gold in Paris.
“It was a big challenge to win the first title (in Tokyo), and it will be a bigger challenge to do (defend) it again because everybody will come prepared. It will be more pressure than Tokyo Olympics because there will be a lot more expectations than earlier, even I have my expectations.
“But the most important thing is to save myself from injury. I need to remain healthy and injury-free so that I can repeat all my titles.”
Chopra, who finished second in the Zurich Diamond League on Thursday, said he was having cough and sore threat before the World Championships.
“I did not want to say this earlier because people may think it was an excuse. But I was having cough and sore throat before the qualification round. I was having problems. I am still having problem in Zurich. I will be all right, an athlete’s life is like that.”