Diamond silver, national record: Chopra feels no pressure

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1

A day after winning his first ever medal at the coveted Diamond League, Neeraj Chopra has said that he is not feeling the pressure of being the reigning Olympics javelin throw champion.

Chopra threw to 89.94 metres in Stockholm on Thursday night to win the silver medal behind Anderson Peters from Grenada, who won gold with a throw of 90.31m. Germany’s Julian Weber bagged bronze with a throw of 89.08m.

Chopra’s medal-winning attempt was also a new national record for the javelin ace. He bettered his own mark of 89.30m set at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland last month. “I am feeling happy and I never thought that I would have to do it all in the first throw itself. As I have often said that my mindset, going into any throw is to give it my best. My first throw was very near and I thought I may clear 90 metres today but I gave my best so I am happy,” Neeraj said.

The 24-year-old further said he was not under pressure at the competition at all.

“When Anderson Peters crossed the 90 metre mark I thought I have to do it too. Everything has to be perfect only then you can throw this far. The body also gets tired after a number of attempts. I was appearing in the Diamond League after a long time and I am happy with today’s performance,” the Army Subedar said.

No pressure

Chopra said he was relieved when he realised that he is not feeling the pressure of being the Tokyo gold medallist at all. “I had said that when I start to compete against only then I will know whether I am feeling the pressure of being an Olympics champion. Thankfully I did not feel anything and I played with a free mind and performed. All I do is train hard and try to do well in competition,” he said.

“Next is Oregon in the World Championships. We do not need to change anything. We will try to follow the same training regime and try to do well and to improve,” he added.

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