Neeraj Chopra starts his prep for the 2024 season and shares his interaction with Roger Federer

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Neeraj Chopra nad Roger Federer

India’s javelin superstar, Neeraj Chopra, is set to kick off his 2024 season on May 10 with the Doha leg of the Diamond League. As the Paris Olympic Games loom just over three months away, Neeraj faces the daunting task of living up to expectations and defending the gold medal he won in Tokyo in 2021.

Since his triumphant performance on August 7, 2021, Neeraj’s life has transformed. He has achieved cult status in India, won the silver in the World Championships in 2022, and the yellow metal the following year. He brought home the Asian Games gold from Hangzhou last year and also won the Diamond League Finals in 2022.

Neeraj Chopra’s training ahead of a huge 2024 season

In preparation for the most challenging season of his successful career, Neeraj has been training in Antalya, Turkey. He aims to breach the 90m mark before the Paris Games. His personal best of 89.94 metres was achieved during the 2022 Stockholm Diamond League.

Neeraj’s confidence has soared since Tokyo. The success he has experienced between Tokyo and Paris has given him a lot of confidence that he can do it against strong competitors. He feels more prepared, both mentally and physically, for his second Olympics.

One of the highlights of Neeraj’s preparation for the 2024 season was his meeting with tennis icon Roger Federer in Zurich, Switzerland, earlier this year. During their meeting, Federer shared insights on maintaining a long and successful career at the top level. Neeraj was keen to learn how Federer managed to balance playing, training, and travelling to avoid fatigue and injuries.

“Being an athlete, it was great to meet a legend,” Neeraj said of the 20-time grand slam champion. “He gave positive vibes. I asked him how he remained at the top of his game for such a long time. I asked him ‘How did you do that?’”

“Though our sports are different, I still got to know how he mentally prepared himself. He said, ‘one needs to balance his schedule, what all tournaments one has to play, pick and choose sensibly to avoid injuries and fatigue’. I try to do the same things,” he revealed during a virtual press conference.

Federer’s advice resonated with Neeraj, who agreed that as athletes, they need to strike a balance. Playing more could mean less training, leading to tiredness, more injuries, and more travelling. This insight from Federer will undoubtedly be invaluable to Neeraj as he navigates the demanding 2024 season.

As Neeraj Chopra gears up for the 2024 season, he will face new challenges, including the rising German sensation, Max Dehning. Dehning, the youngest member of the 90-metre club, has confirmed his participation at the Paavo Nurmi Games. Neeraj looks forward to competing with Dehning and relishes the challenge.

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