India’s ace javelin thrower and 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has revealed that while he missed the 90-meter mark in the Stockholm Diamond League 2022 in Sweden on Thursday, the fact that it was his best throw ever gave him a really nice feeling.
Continuing his brilliant form, Chopra broke the national record again with a throw of 89.94 meters to finish second in Stockholm. The 24-year-old fell just six centimeters short of the elusive 90-meter mark but he bettered his personal best of 89.30m, set earlier this month at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.
World champion Anderson Peters of Grenada broke the 16-year-old meet record with a huge 90.31m throw in his third attempt, which was enough to get him the top spot.
A day after the record feat, in a conversation with JSW Sports, Chopra, who was taking part in his first Diamond League event since 2018, said, “It’s feeling very nice (to win silver). There was no such thing in my mind that I have to do it (aim for a giant throw) in my first attempt itself. I just kept my mindset positive.
“The only thing I had in my mind was to play well and put in my best effort, that’s all. The first throw was very nice, just that I missed the 90m mark. Initially, I thought I had done 90m but it was not to be. But since it’s my best throw, the feeling is really nice,” said Chopra, who will be heading to Oregon, the USA for the World Championships from July 15.
There will be expectations from Chopra to win gold at the Worlds in Oregon and earn India’s second medal ever in the prestigious event. Former India long jumper Anju Bobby George is the only athlete to win a medal at the Worlds when she clinched bronze in Paris in 2003. However, Chopra said there was no pressure on him, adding that he will put in his best effort.
“There is no such pressure that we have just one medal at the Worlds. I will put in my best effort, this is my job and this is what I am going to do. I haven’t thought anything other than that. Right now, there is no pressure whatsoever. But it all depends on what mindset I have in Oregon on the day of the competition,” he added.