Neeraj Chopra will kickoff the 2023 season at the Doha Diamond League on Friday. All eyes will be on the Olympic champion as he aims to better his personal best of 89.94m in the upcoming season. The 25-year-old from Haryana has achieved many records and medals in his stellar career. But one record still from from his reach, which is breaching the 90m mark distance. Almost all of his contemporaries including Anderson Peters and Jakub Vadledjch have crossed that mark. Neeraj came very close to join this elite 90m list in men’s javelin last year when he threw a 89.94m throw at Stockholm Diamond League.
As much as the fans await a Neeraj Chopra 90m throw, it is not something which concerns the star athlete from India. Neeraj, in a recent conversation with a group of journalists, had said that his focus on the match day is on doing his best.
Breaking the 90m barrier is inevitable for Neeraj. But those who are not well-versed with the technicalities of the sport must know how difficult it is even for the Olympic champion to get the record.
What is the weight and size of a javelin?
Javelin throw is a difficult sport. Neeraj and other throwers around the world undergo intense training – medicine ball throw, strength training, body movement exercises, throwing practice – to get ready for a match. Ahead of a long season that comprises 6 to 8 months, a javelin thrower trains for at least 3 months. To throw a javelin, an athlete is required to run, stop, bend and throw. It is very close to fast bowling in cricket. A javelin thrower and a fast bowler are always at risk of injuring their bodies because the process of pulling off a brilliant throw or delivery involves racing in, stopping and then throwing/delivering. This act takes a toll on the body, especially the lower part.
A fast bowler still has a cricket ball in hand which weighs around 155.9g. The men’s javelin, on the other hand, is 800g in weight. Not to forget, the six makes it even tougher to throw. As per World Athletics, a javelin’s size in men’s event should be 2.6m to 2.7m long. The grip makes it all the more difficult to throw it for a long distance.
Neeraj’s season ahead
Unlike last year, Neeraj is focussing on one tournament at a time. In 2022, he had revealed his playing calendar but could not take part in all the events due to packed schedule and injury in his thigh. This year, Neeraj said that he is eying to play in Diamond Leagues and Asian Games. He, however, will keep the fans updated about the next tournament only when there is surety of him playing in that particular event. For now, Neeraj will aim for points in his season-opener Doha Diamond League, which will be played on May 5. The live streaming of the Neeraj Chopra event will be on Jio Cinema from 9.30 pm IST.