Jinson Johnson: I will now focus on 1500m till Tokyo Olympics

Johnson clocked 3:44.72 to win the 1500m gold medal in the recently concluded Asian Games.

Asian Games gold medallist Jinson Johnson said he will focus solely on 1500m for Tokyo Olympics.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Asian Games gold medallist Jinson Johnson, says he would not compete in 800m now and focus just on 1500m since he considers himself a medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics in the event.

Johnson was favourite to win both 800m and 1500m but compatriot Manjeet Singh pipped him in a thrilling finish in Jakarta.

However Johnson clocked 3:44.72 to win the 1500m gold medal.

“If you are focusing on the Olympics, there is no point competing in both 800m and 1500m. I have spoken to my coaches and have decided that my focus will be on 1500m for Tokyo Olympics. I believe I will be a medal contender in Tokyo,” Johnson said on the sidelines of the felicitation ceremony by the Indian Army.

Olympics is a completely different ball game compared to Asian Games but what makes Johnson confident is the timing.

“Look at the medallists at the Rio Olympics. The gold medallist (Mathew Centrowitz of US) clocked 3:50.00. Now look at my timing at the Asian Games. It is 3:44.72.

“So, in 1500m, It’s not just about the timing. The middle distance running is all about strategy. You don’t have to necessarily create world record to win Olympic gold. Like my personal best is 3:37.00 which is also a national record,” Johnson explained.

He is currently training at the national camp under Jayesh Bhatia and will be leaving for Czech Invitational Championship on Thursday.

“The event is on September 8 and 9. I would be leaving on Thursday. Apart from myself, there is Neeraj Chopra, PU Chithra, Arpinder Singh and Sudha Singh taking part,” informed Johnson.

A resident of Calicut, Johnson said that his family was luckily saved from the devastating floods that hit Kerala but he will try to help the affected people.

“I have some plans in mind. I will definitely do something for the people of my state,” Johnson said.