Neeraj Chopra is no longer training with renowned javelin thrower Uwe Hohn, the Indian Express reported on Saturday. The decision was reportedly taken by the Athletics Federation of India keeping the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in mind and the 21-year-old has turned to bio-mechanics expert Klaus Bartonietz in South Africa’s Potchefstroom.
“Keeping the preference of the athlete in mind, we decided to allow him to train with Bartonietz,” an AFI official told Express.
“Chopra respects Hohn because it was while training with him that he won the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games gold and set the national record. However, he wanted a change when it came to the training method. Chopra felt that he may not be able to handle the volume of the workload Hohn would have wanted him to do. He has trained with Hohn for two years and there is nothing wrong in wanting to train with Bartonietz. There is nothing personal in him wanting to change the coach.”
Chopra spent considerable amount of time with Bartonietz during his rehabilitation phase after an elbow surgery in May, hence it is understood that the two may set a good rapport to help the 21-year-old excel in Tokyo. As for Hohn, the former Germany javelin thrower will set his sights on Shivpal Singh and Annu Rani, both silver medallists at the Asian Championships at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.
It has also been reported that Chopra had suggested the name of some other coach but his proposal was not considered as the AFI thought the candidate wasn’t qualified enough.