Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has got a couple of new fans in reigning world champion Johannes Vetter and Rio Olympics silver medallist Julius Yego, with both predicting a bright future for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

After winning gold at Gold Coast with his second career-best throw of 86.47m, the 20-year-old had said that he would like to join the 90m club soon. He broke his own national record by clearing a distance of 87.43m en route finishing fourth in a star-studded field in the season opening Diamond League series in Doha on Friday night. The star-studded field included Olympic champion Thomas Rohler and Kenya’s Yego, besides Vetter.

“He is really young. He is able to throw between 88 and 90m, this year of course,” Vetter, who has a personal best of 94.44m, was quoted as saying by the Olympic Channel.

Neeraj’s personal best before this was 86.48m that won him gold at the U-20 World Championships in 2016 in Bydgoszcz, which is also the existing world junior record.

Only 18 athletes have ever thrown over 90m, including six who are still in action – Yego, Vetter, Rohler, Tero Pitkomaki, Andreas Hoffman and Asian record holder Chao Tsun Cheng. However, none of these stars had inched past 80m in their teens, a fact that is not lost on Yego.

“It’s possible [for Neeraj to throw 90m]. He is a great talent and has a great, bright future. He has the qualities of becoming an elite thrower. He already holds the world junior record. He is way ahead of me,” said Yego.

If Neeraj, who now trains under world record holder Uwe Hohn, hits 90m, he would be the youngest thrower to go past the javelin gold standard.

A fresh challenger from a ‘non-javelin’ nation gives his sport a welcome boost of energy, according to Vetter, who competed alongside Neeraj earlier in the season in Offenberg, Germany, where the Indian had a three-month stint before the CWG.

“Javelin is going more and more all over the world There are a lot of young guys who are trying this and have good potential in Africa, Asia, and I think it is developing each year,” said Vetter.

With inputs from PTI