Neeraj’s coach Klaus says going forward, aim is to be ‘stable’ in technique

New Delhi, 13 Aug: Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has rectified most of the shortcomings in his technique and now the endeavour is to maintain technical “stability” to touch greater heights in the coming years, says his coach Klaus Bartonietz.
Chopra began working with Bartonietz in 2019 after undergoing a successful surgery and the German bio-mechanics expert said though the youngster did not have any major flaws but still needed attention.
“Run-up speed, (not) blocking in correct body position and ‘rushing’ into the throw as a young powerful athlete…. these were the shortcomings I found (at the beginning). The follow through should be more forward than on sideways,” Bartonietz told PTI in an interview from his home in Germany.
“I made him understand and he started understanding the correct way. There was nothing dramatic. The angle of release should be right, you need to know aerodynamics if you want to throw farther. We have to do step by step to develop.
“No doubt, there are improvements we have made. There were shortcomings but we have worked them out.”
Asked if there are no technical shortcomings now, Bartonietz said, “We have to work all the time on technique and continue and make it stable.”
“You may do well during training but during competitions mental state is different. If you want to do the same thing you have done during training, you have to calm down (during competitions) and be confident.”
The German said the good thing about Chopra is that he is an all-round athlete as he can sprint, jump and perform other exercises well.
He said when he took Chopra under his wings in 2019, he knew the Haryana lad has it in him to become a top thrower in the world.
“I was sure, everybody was sure because some people do very well in junior level but worn out later on. But he was going in a sophisticated way (after becoming world junior champion). So, everybody was sure he has a bright future.”
During the build-up to the Olympics, Chopra had said that he was trying to throw the javelin flatter as the high projectile of the spear reduces the actual distance covered.
Asked about this, Bartonietz said, “The javelin should go far and not high. Most of the athletes at the Olympics threw the javelin high. It’s not our business to correct them but yes it’s the correct thing to try and throw flatter.”
Chopra topped the qualification round ahead of German Johannes Vetter, who came to Tokyo as gold-medal favourite but finished ninth, and Bartonietz said winning a gold was never a realistic target.
“Depending on what the others do (in the final), there was a real chance to win a silver or bronze, but not gold. Nobody thought of gold,” he said.
“When you are so much fixed with gold. If you think like I must win gold, I will win gold, then mostly this will not happen. If you are enjoying what you are doing, and if you are doing your best, medals or gold medal will come.”
Chopra came up with big throws in his first attempt in both the qualification round and the final, and Bartonietz said that was always a part of the plan. (PTI)