Tokyo Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra has shifted his focus on the World Championships after breaking the national record again with a throw of 89.94m to finish second in the Stockholm Diamond League 2022 in Sweden on Thursday.
Neeraj said that he would give his best in the Eugene World Championships. Notably, the Stockholm Diamond League was his last event before the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games in July.
“I feel very good. In the first round, I threw 89.94, close to 90. I thought I could throw over 90 today. But it is okay, as I have more competitions this year. Big congratulations to Peters who threw over 90,” Neeraj told the organizers after the event.
“It is good for me. The training goes well. I am giving my best. Slow improvement is good. Every day is different. I will give my best there (Eugene World Championships) as well. Let’s see what happens,” the 24-year-old added.
The Indian javelin ace fell just six centimeters short of the elusive 90m 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. World No 4 Julian Weber of Germany finished third with an effort of 89.08m. Jakub Vadlejch, the 2016 Diamond League champion, was fourth after Julian pipped him with his penultimate throw.
After the record-breaking first throw, Chopra logged 84.37m, 87.46m, 84.77m and 86.67m in his subsequent attempts and was one of the top three athletes who made it to the sixth attempt. However, the 24-year-old Indian could only come up with 86.84m in his final throw and finished behind Anderson Peters.
“Today, I feel good and after the first throw, I thought I could throw even over the 90m today. 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,” said Chopra.
“Despite the fact that I did not win tonight, I feel very good because I did my best,” he added.
This was Chopra’s eighth appearance in the Diamond League and his first top-three finish at the meet. He earned seven points for the second-place finish in Stockholm and moved to fourth in the qualification standings of the Diamond League. The top six athletes at the end of all qualification meetings will compete in the Diamond League Final in Zurich this September.
Earlier this month, Chopra made an impressive return to competition after Tokyo 2020, breaking the national record with an 89.30m throw to clinch silver at the Paavo Nurmi Games before claiming gold at the Kuortane Games with an 86.69m throw.