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Asian Games 2018: Neeraj Chopra focused on not medal but best performance

first_imgNeeraj Chopra is India’s biggest hope for a gold medal in the athletics at the Asian Games 2018, which is set to begin on August 18. With all the limelight on him, Neeraj is still focused on just giving his best in Indonesia.Neeraj was named the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the Asian Games opening ceremony at the back of his excellent showing in various international competitions. This year, Neeraj has won three gold medals for India, including one at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.Apart from that, Neeraj also registered his personal-best javelin throw distance of 87.43 metres at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha.There are extremely high expectation from Neeraj but he is not putting himself under pressure and instead of medals, he is only thinking of putting up his best show at the Games.”It is a great honour for me to lead the Indian contingent and carry the country’s flag at such a prestigious event. As far as my preparations for the Asian Games are concerned, I want to say that I am not thinking about any medal or rank, all I want to do is give my best there,” Neeraj said in a statement on Thursday.”These three-four months in Europe have been very productive and I got a chance to compete in a lot of competitions in between. I am feeling good and as I said, my only target is give my best in Jakarta,” Neeraj added.Off to Asian Games pic.twitter.com/bTTEA1DCWiadvertisementNeeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 16, 2018The 20-year-old Neeraj has top class credentials by virtue of being the first Indian to win a gold medal at a World Championships, which he won at the 2016 World Youth Championships.READ – Asian Games 2018: India’s top medal contenders in IndonesiaIn 2018, Neeraj has maintained his fine form, consistently throwing the javelin beyond the 85m mark this year and his javelin throw in Doha was also a new national record.In fact, the five best throws by an Asian athlete this year are all in his name. His gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia made Neeraj the first Indian javelin thrower to win that competition.However, Neeraj will not be overconfident in Jakarta. Amongst his competitors is Chinese Taipei’s Chao Tsun-Cheng who holds the Asian record of 91.36m. Cheng, though, has been guilty of being very inconsistent and has failed to produce his best throw when it has mattered most.Also read – Miffed Leander Paes withdraws from Asian Games 2018 in IndonesiaAt the Asian Championships last year, there had been great expectations from Cheng but he only managed to take sixth place with an effort of 80.03m. At that competition it was Neeraj who had romped to the gold medal with a throw of 85.23m.While Neeraj will be bidding for gold, his compatriot Shivpal Singh could also get on the podium. Singh qualified for the Asian Games with a throw of 82.28m at the Inter State Championships. That mark leaves him in fourth place this year amongst Asian throwers.(With IANS inputs)last_img read more