Neeraj Chopra made history on Friday when he became the first Indian to win a Diamond League event when he finished first in Lausanne’s contest with a throw of 89.08m – his third best attempt ever. Following his win, 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 kept him out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. “It was a special night, it felt really good to win and most of all made a comeback with a very good throw,” Neeraj said after his win.
“Abhinav Bindra sir, IOC President Thomas Bach sir and the audience cheered 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 think we should not just focus on the events that take place after four or two years. Competitions like Diamond League Meet or Continental Tour are really good opportunities for athletes,” said Neeraj about the importance of victory.
“It happens every year and it gives us opportunities to do well. It really helps prepare us well for the big tournaments because world-class athletes compete here. Performing well in these tournaments will also help Indian athletics and the sport help,” he added.
He also spoke about the rise of Indians in athletics.
“I will be very happy to see more Indian athletes participate in these competitions and I will be delighted to participate in a stage like this along with my fellow Indian athletes. Avinash Sable and Sreeshankar also competed in the Diamond League this year , so gradually our country is reaching this level and if we perform better here it will help Indian athletics to do well on bigger stages,” he said.
Speaking about his recovery from injury, he said: “I had to skip Commonwealth Games due to a groin injury and I felt I had to end the season. But there wasn’t much pain, so I was confident that I would recover for the tournament.”
“I made some good throws in training and felt good, that’s why we made the decision to compete here. I did my rehabilitation in Germany with my coach and physio Ishaan Marwaha. It went very well. I had very little time to prepare, but proper planning in rehab helped me recover quickly,” he said.
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