Neeraj Chopra on Friday scripted history as he became the first Indian to win a Diamond League event as he finished first in the Lausanne meet with a throw of 89.08m – his third best attempt ever. Speaking after his triumph, the 24-year-old said it was an important win for the country. The win also came as he made a comeback from an injury that ruled him out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. “It was a special night, felt really good to win and most importantly made a comeback with a very good throw,” Neeraj said after his win.
“Abhinav Bindra sir, IOC President Thomas Bach sir and the crowd were cheering for me, I enjoyed and felt really good to perform in such a great atmosphere,” he said.
“This win is very important for our country. I feel we shouldn’t be only focusing on the events that happen after four or two years. Competitions like Diamond League Meet or Continental Tour are really good opportunities for athletes,” Neeraj said about the importance of the win.
“It happens every year, and it gives us opportunities to do well. It really helps prepare well for the major tournaments because world-class athletes participate here. Performing well in these tournaments will also help Indian Athletics and the sport,” he added.
He also spoke about the rise of Indians in athletics.
“I will be very happy to see more Indian athletes taking part in these competitions and I will be delighted to participate along with my fellow Indian athletes at a stage like this. Avinash Sable and Sreeshankar also participated in the Diamond League this year, so gradually our country is reaching this level and if we will perform better here, then it will help Indian athletics do well at bigger stages,” he said.
Speaking about his recovery from injury, he said: “I had to skip Commonwealth Games due to groin injury, and I felt that I will have to end the season. But there wasn’t much pain, so I had the belief that I will recover before the tournament.”
“I made some good throws in the training and was feeling well, hence we made the decision to compete here. I did my rehab in Germany with my coach and physio Ishaan Marwaha. It went really well. I had very limited time to prepare but the proper planning in rehab helped me recover quickly,” he said.
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