Defending Olympic gold will not be easy for Neeraj Chopra: David Rudisha | More sports News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: India’s ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will be defending his Tokyo gold in the next year’s Paris Olympics but Kenya’s David Rudisha on Saturday said that defending the feat will not be an easy task for the 25-year-old.
Rudisha, the two-time Olympic Games gold medallist in 800m, however asserted that if Neeraj continued to train the way he did before Tokyo Games, he might be able to successfully defend his title.
Rudisha successfully defended his 2012 London Olympics gold in the following Rio Games and 34-year-old said he is keen to train Indian sprinters and middle-distance runners after he calls time on his glorious career.
Asked if he would be keen to train Indian sprinters and middle-distance runners after calling time on his professional career, Rudisha said, “Well, after I am done with some level 1 and 2 coaching programmes, yes I can have a fresh start and that (coaching) could be an option. There are no boundaries for coaches. You are like a teacher and whoever wants to learn is most welcome.”
On whether Chopra will be able to defend his Tokyo crown, Rudisha said, “It’s a tough eight-year journey performing in consecutive Olympics. So many new athletes are coming in.
“My experience says it’s not easy to defend (gold) and there are no guarantees, given that so many other things like physical fitness, preparation etc too play a major role. But, yes, it’s still achievable.”
The celebrated athlete also indicated he is not happy with the way Kenya’s reputation has been tarnished by runners taking the easy route of doping to achieve success.
Three top Kenyan athletes were banned for a collective period of eight years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for breaking anti-doping rules in December last year, thus adding to the growing list of runners bringing shame to the country.
In fact, the country faces the prospect of being banned by World Athletics because of the dope menace having reached crisis levels.
The soft-spoken Rudisha, belonging to the Masai tribe, used very harsh words to describe how the runners were tarring the country’s image.
“Doping is a big problem in our country. It’s damaging the sport there. If I am right, Kenya has been topping the (doping) list for 10 years now. Some athletes take shortcuts, which is bad.
“I fail to understand when they have the talent, why do they resort to such practices. They are spoiling the name of the country, and by doing so are robbing those who have worked hard to get there. They are ignorant that they are harming the prospects of their own brothers and sisters.”
The AIU had banned marathon runners Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai and Johnstone Kibet Maiyo for three years, and sprinter Mark Otieno for two in December.
Even though Kenya is planning to criminalise doping in athletics, there seems to be little to deter athletes from taking the short cut.
(With inputs from PTI)


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