Neeraj Chopra has taken a short breather after a three-month training stint in the United States. It was a gruelling session in which he was preparing himself to get back into peak competition fitness.

But the javelin thrower asserted he’s not in a hurry to get back to the same physical shape that saw him win India’s second individual Olympic gold medal – the first ever in athletics – at the Tokyo Games last year.

Lage hue hain abhi, dobara training start kar diya hai,” he said on the sidelines of the Sportstar Aces Awards.

“At Chula Vista (his training base in California), I was working on getting back to the same shape I was in at Tokyo. I was working on improving my core strength, running and jumps. I was slowly starting to improve my strength, and working on perfecting my javelin (throw) technique. There’s still time till the World Championships. Not trying to rush into getting as fit as I was at Tokyo.”

In a season lined-up with the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games – both in which the 24-year-old is the defending champion – Chopra’s first target is the World Championships that start on July 15 in Eugene, Oregon.

Holding his practice and training sessions in the United States, Chopra asserted, kept him in good stead when it came to acclimatising to the conditions.

“Training in US conditions will be advantageous for the World Championships, since it’ll happen in the US. There’s a big time difference between India and the US, so training there will help,” he said.

“The primary need is to get fit and get back to that level again.”

A medal at the Worlds is the only missing piece of silverware in his trophy cabinet, having already claimed gold at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. The army subedar did however, first burst onto the scene with a gold at the Under-20 World Championships in 2016.

Now he’s targeting the senior event. But first he has to make up for the time he lost after his Tokyo sojourn – when he had been celebrated throughout the country with felicitations and honours.

“What was different for me while training in US was that I had never been away from training for so long since I started competing. That was a little challenging for me. My weight had increased. To get myself back to the same level of fitness… I used to get tired physically, so had to push myself mentally. So that was a challenge. But I enjoyed that,” he said about the time he restarted training.

“If we’re talking about only losing weight, that can be done. But regaining the same strength or speed or flexibility (is the challenge) along with having the same technique. That is what takes time. It took me two to three months to work on these things. Even now there’s a lot of scope for improvement.”

He has another four months to get to where he wants to be before Chopra, and the other big names in the javelin throw event, descend upon Hayward Field in Eugene to contest for the biggest prize this season.