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Into the finals with a “perfect throw”, trailblazing javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Wednesday said he will need the same performance with a higher score to be in contention for India’s maiden track-and-field medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 23-year-old Chopra became the first Indian javelin thrower to enter the finals of the Games with a big throw of 86.65m that put him on the top of the Group A qualification.
He took just a few seconds to make that cut, sending the spear well past the direct qualifying mark of 83.50m in his first attempt.
“I am at my first Olympic Games, and I feel very good. In warm-up my performance wasn’t so good, but then (in the qualifying round) my first throw had a good angle, and was a perfect throw,” Chopra said after his event.
Chopra is, however, under no illusion that the final will be a totally different contest where the world’s best will go for podium finish.
“It will be a different feeling (in the finals), since it is my first time in the Olympics. Physically we (all) train hard, and are ready, but I also need to prepare mentally.
“I will need to focus on the throw, and try to repeat this (performance) with…