Jinson Johnson to focus on 1500m to make Tokyo cut

The Asian Athletics Championships in Doha saw an unfamiliar sight. Jinson Johnson, India’s premier middle-distance runner, could not finish the 800m final after suffering a calf injury.

Published: 08th May 2019 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2019 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

Jinson Johnson

India's Jinson Johnson(File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Asian Athletics Championships in Doha saw an unfamiliar sight. Jinson Johnson, India’s premier middle-distance runner, could not finish the 800m final after suffering a calf injury. There was more disappointment in store for the Kerala athlete as he was forced to skip the 1500m competition. Such things are a part and parcel for athletes, but things are only going to get difficult for the 28-year-old, who now wants to focus on the 2020 Olympics. 

Him preferring the Olympics over the World Championships, is understandable. Johnson, who is at SAI, Bengaluru for a training camp, is yet to hit top gear in terms of his fitness. Hence, he does not have much time to prepare for the Worlds slated for Doha in September-October. However, Tokyo, more than a year away, is an attainable dream according to Johnson who spoke to select journalists at a promotional event here on Tuesday. 

Jinson Johnson (R)

“Right now my focus is the Olympics. I’m not majorly targeting the World Championships because there’s still some strengthening work left. And it’s difficult to keep up both 800m as well as 1500m,” he said. The Asian Games gold medallist will be focusing more on the 1500m to make the Tokyo bus. “So rather than splitting focus, I thought it would make sense to focus on one, which will help me do well,” he said.

The ticket to Tokyo, however, is an uphill task. If the 1500m qualification for 2016 Olympics stood at 3:36:20, it has fallen down to 3:35:00 for the next edition. The Olympic qualification period opened on May 1 and it would take something special for Johnson to achieve the qualification mark. The 1500m national record holder (3:37.86) will have to improve his timing by almost three seconds in the next one year or so. 

“To set a fresh record of 3:35.00, I will have to train a lot and put in a lot of preparation. I have to go from 3:37 to 3:35. Cutting two seconds (2.86 seconds to be precise) is going to be tough. Having competed at an Olympics (800m, Rio 2016) has given me a first-hand feel of the level of competition. My main target is to qualify for the Olympics.” 

Even though Johnson isn’t sure about taking part in international events this year — he said that was the federation’s call — he was positive about taking part in domestic meets. “I will participate in domestic events like the inter-state championships, Federation Cup and the Open Nationals,” he concluded.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp