NEW DELHI, July 27: Disappointed but not disheartened to miss out on a Rio Olympic berth, sensational javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra today said he is looking to put in the hard yards to earn India a medal at 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 18-year-old lad from Panipat created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to become a world champion at any level when he won a gold medal at the U-20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last Saturday.
Chopra threw a massive 86.48 metres the second time to not only seal his gold medal at World Championship but also broke the junior world record and senior national record but yet missed a berth at Rio as he achieved the feat after the qualification deadline was over on July 18.
�I was disappointed to miss out on Rio Olympics berth but the federation is still trying for a wildcard entry. If it comes through then fine but otherwise I am ready to work hard and win a medal for my country at 2020 Olympics,� Neeraj told reporters. �I had a back injury in April and it affected my Olympic preparation. At Poland, I had a targeted gold medal but I am happy that I eclipsed the world record, I had worked hard for it. My confidence was high for the event. But I never thought I will break the world record.�
Neeraj�s throw makes him the eighth best among all throwers this season, and first among the junior throwers. �I am from a normal Haryana family. I had to struggle early in my life when I had to travel for long hours but now I am training at Patiala and federation is also sending us to train outside. I will be training for World Championship next year,� he said. His coach Garry Calvert also praised his student. � PTI