While looking forward to touching 85m, a consistent Rohit Yadav enjoys a keen competition among fellow javelin throwers and hopes that a quartet of Indians, led by Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra, will make the upcoming World athletics championships in Budapest memorable.
Rohit, who won the Federation Cup title in Ranchi last month with a personal best throw of 83.40m and the National Inter-State crown with 83.28m here while leading two others – Kishore Jena (82.87m) and Shivpal Singh (81.96m) – to earn Asian Games qualification, believes he can hit 85m sooner than later.
“I was well prepared, but the runway was too fast. So I had to control my speed. Will try to achieve it in the Asian championships (next month),” said Rohit, who has three 81m-plus throws this season.
Rohit, who spoke to Neeraj before the competition, said, “My second throw was a little down. Otherwise, I would have done 85m today. I spoke to him (Neeraj), he said he would watch me. But I could not do my personal best.”
Rohit has extended his run-up, is doing more weight training and has put on some weight, increasing from 79kg to 83kg and eyeing 85kg, to gain power.
The 22-year-old Uttar Pradesh thrower said the opportunity to train with Neeraj in the UK and South Africa was a learning experience.
“He is a great athlete with so many big medals. It gave me the confidence that I could compete with the big guys. Seeing him put so much effort, I got inspired and learnt a lot.”
At the prospect of four Indian javelin throwers taking part in the World championships for the first time, Rohit said, “It’s a great thing for the country. We will be known at the highest level. If all four qualify for the final, it’s even better.”
Rohit loved a healthy competition with top throwers – including D.P. Manu and Vikrant Malik – capable of crossing the 80m mark.
“In the last two years several throwers have done 80m-plus. Everyone is well prepared. You never know who will produce a good throw and push others.”
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is searching for a foreign coach, but has not been able to identify one as the European coaches are not willing to come to India on a long-term assignment.
Rohit backed AFI’s move. “We will learn a lot. When I trained with Neeraj, (his coach) Klaus (Bartonietz) told us a few things. The foreigners have more technical knowledge. It can help us,” said Rohit.
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