People only remember your place on the podium: Neeraj Chopra | Sports News
New Delhi: Breaking the 90m mark would have been the icing on the cake but Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra was far from disappointed to become the first Indian to lift the Diamond League trophy in Zurich on Thursday.
The mop-haired 24-year-old fouled on his first attempt but claimed victory with his second throw measuring 88.44m in cloudy conditions at Letzigrund Stadium.
Czech Jakub Vadlejch finished second behind Chopra as at the Tokyo Olympics with a best attempt of 86.94m, while defending European champion Julian Weber of Germany came third with 83.73m.
During a videoconference with Indian media on Friday, Chopra said he was not disappointed that he did not clear the 90-yard mark.
“It’s a magic mark, it’s a barrier, but let’s say I hit the 90m mark and don’t win a medal, so what’s the point?” he said.
“Winning a medal is the main thing, not the distance. I’m pretty happy to have been so consistent this season.
“I’m not under any pressure to break the 90m mark. It will happen when it has to.”
Chopra, who has a personal best of 89.94m, was delighted with his return from a groin injury that kept him out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Haryana athlete said winning an event with a relatively modest throw demonstrated his ability to master tough conditions.
“You have elite athletes competing in these events and if the conditions are tough and you can handle it better than them, even an 85m throw can get you a medal.
“The medal is more important than the brand. People don’t remember the distance, they remember where you finished on the podium.”
The Diamond League trophy capped a momentous season for Chopra, who also became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene in July.