Neeraj Chopra is the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics at the Olympics.© AFP
Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra started his Diamond League campaign with a massive throw of 89.94m in Stockholm on Thursday. With the attempt, the 24-year-old Chopra broke his own national record of 89.30m that he set at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku earlier this month. Chopra’s throw was the meet record too, until reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada threw 90.31m on his third attempt to set a new meet record.
This is Chopra’s first competition in a Diamond League meet after his fourth-place finish in Zurich in August 2018 with an effort of 85.73m. He has taken part in seven Diamond League meets — three in 2017 and four in 2018 — but is yet to win a medal. He had two fourth-place finishes, the other one being in Doha in May 2018, where he had thrown 87.43m.
The prestigious one-day meet at the Swedish capital is Chopra’s biggest event ahead of the World Championships in Eugene, USA, next month. Chopra is the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics at the Olympics.
Chopra had said in recent media interactions that he would not put himself under pressure with the thought of throwing beyond 90m and would look to build up gradually to peak during the July 15-24 World Championships in Eugene, USA.
Earlier, after setting a new national record at the Paavo Nurmi Games, Chopra had said: “I am pleased with my performance. It was my first event of the season, so I am happy to have started the season on a high note. My performance here has boosted my confidence significantly,” Neeraj said when asked about his performance.
“Going forward I am looking to work on my technique, throw, and overall performance. I am in a happy place at the moment and I just want to do well in the upcoming events,” the golden boy of India continued.
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