Javelin star Neeraj Chopra said that pressure of expectations from his fans doesn’t bog him down. Instead, the athlete said that he enjoys living up to them and it motivates him to perform better with time.
Back in 2021, Neeraj made his country proud by winning the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics and the Golden Boy of India has not looked back.
The youngster said that he wanted to keep improving, but didn’t wish to make tweaks to his technique.
“I haven’t made any changes to my technique, but I am looking to improve. I want to improve my leg blocking and also wish to work on my strength and flexibility. I am not thinking about changes, but yes, I am looking to constantly improve. Hopefully, I will be able to give my 100 percent throughout the year,” Neeraj, who is also Switzerland tourism’s friendship ambassador from India, told Sports Tak.
“I like it when people expect things from me. I enjoy it when I win and live up to the expectations. It motivates to perform better,” Neeraj said.
‘Need to stay motivated and fit’
Last time around, Neeraj wasn’t a well-known name in the Indian sporting fraternity, but he has grown in stature in the last 3 years.
Apart from winning the Olympic gold, Neeraj also won gold in the 2023 World Athletics Championship in Budapest, after which he finished on top of the podium in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Neeraj understood the fact that he needed to stay ‘motivated and fit’ to give himself a good chance of defending his Olympic title in Paris later this year.
“It was different in Tokyo; it was my first Olympics and the focus was not so much on me. But in Paris, eyes will be on me as I will be looking to defend the title. So, I need to stay motivated and fit,” Neeraj added.
For his contributions to sports, Chopra has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the Arjuna Award in 2018, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2021 and the Padma Shri in 2022.