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Javelin star Neeraj Chopra gets approval to train in Finland ahead of Diamond League in Stockholm

New Delhi: India's Olympic Gold Medallist Neeraj Chopra is set to switch his training base from Turkey and will fly out to Finland for the same on Thursday (May 26).

Neeraj, who is currently training at Turkey's Gloria Sports Arena, is scheduled to fly out on May 26 and would train at Finland's Kuortane Olympic Training Centre till June 22. The Kuortane OTC offers Olympic-level indoor and outdoor facilities for athletes and is currently also the training base for Paralympics Gold Medalist Devendra Jhajharia.

From Kuortane Neeraj will then head out to Turku to participate in the Paavo Nurmi Games, followed by Kuortane Games in Kuortane and then Diamond League in Stockholm.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has also reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ensure that Neeraj and his team do not face any issues during their stay in Finland and the MEA in their response has also assured SAI that the Indian Embassy in Helsinki would be available for any assistance if required.

The four-week (28 days) training camp has been sanctioned by the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and would cost the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) Rs. 9.8 lakhs approximately.

The finance would be used towards expenditure for Neeraj and his coach Klaus Bartonietz's travel, accommodation, training, local travel, and daily out-of-pocket allowance among other expenditures.

Earlier a PTI report claimed that the star India javelin thrower is not losing sleep over some of his top international rivals producing big early-season performances, but made it clear that he would want to join the 90m club this year.

Reigning world champion in javelin throw Anderson Peters of Grenada and Tokyo Olympics silver winner Jakub Vadlejch of Czech Republic had come up with 93.07m and 90.88m throws respectively in the Doha Diamond League on May 13.

"I don't take the pressure of distance. Peters and Valdech must be working hard and so doing well. It is also my dream to cross 90m and will try to do that this year in some competition," Chopra said at a virtual interaction from his training base in Turkey.

"I know the competition is tough and growing. It also depends on the day's performance, weather and other conditions, and how we manage them. I normally don't think about surpassing anybody's performance or record. I just go out to give my best."

He has a personal best of 88.07m and won gold in Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.58m. His first competition of the season will be in Turku, Finland at the Paavo Nurmi Games where he will face Peters, another top thrower Johannes Vetter of Germany who has thrown over 90m several times.

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 17:51 [IST]
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