Neeraj Chopra explains missed attempts during Diamond League win
Neeraj Chopra skipped his third and fifth attempts before returning for a final throw as he became the first Indian to win an Athletics Diamond League event.
Lausanne: Thirty three days after winning a historic silver in Eugene at the World Athletics Championships, India's golden boy Neeraj Chopra returned to the track with yet another piece of history at the Lausanne Diamond League event in Switzerland on Friday night.
Throwing a mammoth distance of 89.08 in his first attempt, Chopra clinched first place here at the Olympic capital. He became the first ever Indian to do so, improving on Vikas Gowda's 2nd place finish from eight years ago.
Things weren't easy though as thunderstorms were seen in some parts of Lausanne at the start of the meet, and winds later on. Neeraj, like most of the athletes, was glad the rains didn't touch the Stade Olympique stadium.
"The weather did change drastically, it was hot during the week but I'm just glad it didn't rain as predicted, which made things easier for us all. I always look out for the safety of my fellow athletes, and we discussed that before the meet," he said after the final.
Most fans back in India were scared when they found out that Neeraj skipped his third attempt.
"I was fit but wanted to be cautious due to the injury. Missing the Commonwealth Games was tough and I want to get back to 100%. Right now, I'm not there yet, so I decided to tread carefully. Didn't want to strain my body."
Neeraj also decided to give his fifth attempt a miss but later came back for his final one.
The Olympics champion was satisfied with his performance - "Overall, I'm happy. Crossing that 90-metre mark is a goal and I'm close to that after an injury, so I can't be disappointed. I am happy with my consistency and need to keep going."
When asked about his counterpart Anderson Peters and his recent injury in a brawl, Neeraj said that he thought of reaching out to him but couldn't due to his own recovery. "I hope he can make it to Zurich, I heard he is recovering well, and I love competing against him. We need him back."
With only 11 days left for the Diamond League final in Zurich, Neeraj said, "I need to work on my fitness and will have to discuss it with my coach. We'll be going elsewhere for training and return to Switzerland right before the competition. It would be great to win the Diamond League title, but I need to focus on being at my physical best right now."