Neeraj Chopra's gold medal at Tokyo 2020 will inspire Indians to work harder, believes Johannes Vetter

The 2017 World Championships gold medallist speaks about how Chorpa's success at Tokyo 2020 can lift athletics in India

By Olympic Channel Writer
Picture by Getty Images

Neeraj Chopra brought 1.4 billion people in India together with his historic gold medal at Tokyo 2020. It was the first time in 121 years that an Indian athlete stood on a track and field podium at the Olympics.

The inspiring moment, later, saw a lot of children in the country pick javelin over cricket bats. And German Olympian Johannes Vetter, who holds the record of the second farthest throw in history at 97.76m, believes that the achievement is a step in the right direction for the country and even for the javelin world.

"Neeraj was the first medallist at the Olympics from India. India is the second-most populous country in the world. Of course, him winning gold was the best advertisement for our sport," Vetter told

"We have had a lot of benefits (from his winning). Maybe his medal also helped some people in India who are battling societal issues such as poverty, look forward with hope and work harder. So, his medal was good for Indian society but also for the sport of javelin."

Neeraj Chopra.
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

However, Chopra who holds a national record of 88.07m, is yet to breach the 90m mark in the men's javelin throw event. But Vetter believes that the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist is close to achieving that feat.

"I wouldn't say that throwing over 90m is out of Neeraj's reach. He's very close to throwing over 90m; it's a matter of time. He's talented, has a good technique," the German said.

"You cannot compare any of the throwers because it is so individual. My genetic makeup helps me to be strong yet flexible with a strong left leg, which helps me get a hard block."

The 2017 World Championship gold medallist also advised Chopra to work on his left leg beside highlighting that he is safe hands with German biomechanics expert Klaus Bartonietz as his coach.

"I think Neeraj can work on his left leg to get a better block to get more power and pressure in his upper body. He has a good coach (in German biomechanics expert Dr Klaus Bartonietz), and they will work very hard to fix that. It's a matter of time, he's really young. He will be a great competitor in the future as well," Vetter added.


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