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Neeraj Chopra needs to ignore pressure of external expectations: Former Olympic medalist Colin Jackson

Kolkata: It’s time for Kolkata to run on wintery mornings. The TSK 25K Kolkata Marathon is on Sunday 17th December and final preparations are taking place. In the meantime, Kolkata Marathon commercial ambassador Colin Jackson arrived in the city. Colin interacted exclusively with India Today and discussed the specialities of Indian sports and games.

In 1993, Colin won gold in the 110m race in Stuttgart in a record time. Jackson also has the achievement of winning gold at the World Athletics Meet in 1999. This legend came to Kolkata and was surprised to see the frenzy surrounding the marathon. After coming to India, Colin praised javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won gold in the Tokyo Olympics.

Colin was surprised to hear that about 20,000 runners would take part in this year’s marathon. Even though he came to India five years ago in 2018, he was impressed when he came to Kolkata for the first time. Jackson, who won silver in the 110m hurdles race at the Seoul Olympics, said that he is looking forward to eating fish and sweets when he comes to Kolkata.

The legendary athlete praised Neeraj, who also won gold in javelin at the World Championships and Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Colin said, “What Neeraj has to do to maintain success in various international events, including the upcoming Olympics, is ignore the pressure of external expectations; you have to move forward with your expectations. And only then, can Neeraj maintain this success in the future.”

Besides, he compared India to a sleeping giant in world athletics. However, he feels that India is progressing in athletics very slowly. Colin is optimistic that India will do well in the next Paris Olympics.

Also, Colin said, “India needs to focus on athletics. The day will come soon. Neeraj is setting an example for everyone. It takes time and I hope India will do well in the coming future. He has to carry the momentum.”

Jackson also expressed his disappointment as India lost the Cricket World Cup 2023 final against Australia. He said, “It’s a really great stage. Athletes and sports people all thought about winning. We also thought that the way India is performing would win the trophy, but that didn’t happen,” he concluded.