Rivals when they have spears in their hands, German javelin superstar Johannes Fetter and Neraj Chopra are happy to be friends when they are not competing, although the former is quite clear that the young man from Haryana will not be able to beat him on Tokyo Olympics.
Former world champion Vetter is the favorite to claim gold, while Chopra is considered India’s best bet to end the drought in Olympic athletics in the country.
“He (Chopra) throws good throws twice this year. Over 86 meters in Finland. If he is strong and in the right shape, especially in his technique, he can throw far,” said Veter in interaction with selected international media. from World Athletics.
“But he has to fight me. I expect to throw over 90 meters in Tokyo, so it will be difficult for him to beat me.”
The duo met for the first time in 2018 in Offenburg, Germany, when they both trained in the same facility.
Chopra was then three months old in Germany under the guidance of famous coach Werner Daniels. He finished second after Vetter in a race there.
Three years later, the duo met again in Finland during the Quartan Games in Finland last month and even traveled together in the same car from Helsinki.
“Neeraj is a really friendly person. We shared a car for four hours from Helsinki to Kuortane and talked a lot about copy, family and other things,” Vetter told PTI.
“I’m always interested in our cultures, nations, how the sport goes in different countries, etc. We had good discussions and we talked a lot.”
The 28-year-old Veter won in Quartan with a massive throw of 93.59m, while Chopra was third with 86.79m.
The 23-year-old Indian, who has a chance to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has a personal record of 88.07 meters.
Chopra, for his part, said he was enjoying his time with Vetter in 2018 and again last month.
“We had conversations about Indians and Indian food. My English isn’t that great, but I was able to say something about sports, technique, our throws and all that,” Chopra said.
Vetter is in hot form and he is the only person in the world who has thrown over 90 meters in the last 24 months.
In fact, he has done so 18 times, including a record series of seven races between April and June this year. He even threatened a world record last year, throwing 97.76 million in Silesia, Poland, to move to second place in the world list for all time.
His throw was just 72cm shy of the long-standing 98.48m world record set by Czech legend Jan Zhelezni.
He may be in the shape of his life, but Wind does not want to be under pressure, thinking of breaking the world record during the Olympics. Instead, he said winning gold in Tokyo would be his priority.
“It’s not really (world record). Throwing a spear is difficult, the technique is very difficult. Everything has to be put together. The condition of the wind has to be perfect, the surface has to be perfect and the technique.
“You have to think above all angles, speed, etc. I know I’m actually in very good shape, but I don’t want to put so much pressure. I just want to enjoy such a high-level race.
“I just want to see how far I can go and just relax. My first priority this year is the Olympics, not the record. But you never know.”
Asked about the limitations at the Tokyo Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said: “I’m just focusing on fitness and performance. There will be a lot of limitations at these Olympics, but everyone will have to deal with this situation. Everyone he will have to try to be smart. “
The men’s javelin qualifying round will take place on August 4th at the Olympic Stadium, while the final will be on August 7th.