Lausanne : Neeraj Chopra, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist in Javelin throw, continued his impressive form by securing first place at the Lausanne Diamond League with a throw of 87.66 metres. Chopra, who previously won the Doha Diamond League in May, emphasised his main focus on staying injury-free as he prepares for the upcoming World Championships next month.
The 25-year-old Indian athlete outperformed his competitors, Germany’s Julian Weber (87.03m) and the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch (86.13m), to claim the top spot at the Lausanne Diamond League for the second consecutive year. Chopra’s remarkable performance came after recovering from a muscle injury, allowing him to continue his busy 2023 season in the best possible manner.
Reflecting on his approach to the event, Chopra expressed initial concerns about his fitness and injury. However, he was determined to give his all at each event and pushed himself during training sessions despite unfavourable weather conditions.
“It took me a couple of throws to gain enough confidence to strive to do all I can. I kept gradually increasing the effort with each throw. I realised I could push myself, so I focused on it,” explained Chopra. He also mentioned receiving guidance from his coach, who advised him to increase the speed of his run-up, ultimately contributing to his victory.
Known for his mental and physical preparedness, Chopra highlighted his complete focus and maximum effort in each throw. Although his early throws have historically been his best, he emphasised the importance of maintaining mental and physical readiness until the end of the competition. This approach allowed him to achieve the objectives he had set for himself in Lausanne.
Looking ahead, Chopra now sets his sights on the upcoming 2023 World Championships in Budapest, scheduled for August. While acknowledging the great progress in his training, he remains cautious about potential injuries and appreciates the support of organisations such as SAI, TOPS, JSW Sports, and the Inspire Institute of Sport. Their guidance and the assembled team around him have helped him avoid unnecessary overexertion.
“My main focus now is to stay injury-free going into the World Championships next month because I want to be in peak physical and mental condition. I will keep pushing myself to get better with each passing competition, and if I am fully fit, I can keep concentrating on improving my technique, which has helped me become a consistent performer,” said Chopra.
With 16 points in the Diamond League this season, Chopra appears to have qualified for the finals in Eugene, USA, scheduled for September. Following the Diamond League finals, he is set to compete at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, where he aims to add more silverware to his already impressive collection.