After a four-year hiatus from Diamond League, Neeraj Chopra marked his comeback with a throw of 89.94m to finish second. Chopra bettered the national record that he set last month at Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland with an 89.30m throw.
Chopra started the event with a majestic 89.94m throw which turned out to be his best performance ever, just 6cm shy of the hallowed 90m mark. This was also a world record for Stockholm Diamond meet before Anderson Peters, the current world champion, bettered it with a 90.31m throw in his third attempt.
With his record-breaking throw, Chopra earned seven points and has now moved to fourth place in the Diamond League standings. If he maintains his current rankings, Chopra will earn a direct qualification for the Diamond League final in Zurich.
“Today, I feel good and after the first throw, I thought I could throw even over the 90m (mark) today,” Chopra said. “But it is OK as I have more competitions coming this year. I am close to 90m now and I can throw it this year.”
From wind speed and throwing angle to power and technique, everything needs to click at once to record a 90m throw. Ever since resuming his action last month, Chopra is constantly aiming to breach the 90m mark. But he is quite happy with his performance in Stockholm, where all of his six throws measured above 84m.
“I am very happy with the way I performed. I love Diamond League and was playing in it after a very long time. To come up with such consistent throws in front of such a huge crowd and in such a strong field, I am very happy,” he said.
Having broken his own national record twice in a month, Chopra is confident of reaching the elusive mark this year. His next destination will be Eugene in the USA, where he’ll be leading the Indian contingent for World Athletics Championship.
“I am looking forward to Oregon, but there is still some time for that. Every day is different and we will get to know on the day of the competition. My job is to go out there and give it my all — that’s my only focus and I do not think about anything else when I am competing,” concluded Chopra.
Featured Image Courtesy: World Diamond League