India’s Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra expected to breach the 90m mark at the Diamond League final in Zurich but said he was happy to win the trophy, becoming the first Indian to do so.
Competing under overcast conditions at the Letzigrund Stadium on Thursday, Chopra took the gold medal with his best throw measuring 88.44m.
The 24-year-old pipped Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch to the title after the Czech’s best attempt was 86.94m, while reigning European champion Julian Weber of Germany came third with a throw of 83.73m.
“It was a very good competition with Jakub Vadlejch today, he also threw very nice. I expected 90m from me today. But it is OK, I have the Diamond (League) trophy and this was the most important thing for me,” Chopra said in an interview.
“Also because my family is here. (For) the first time, they are at an international competition. They came to see me as this is my last competition and we go for a holiday to Paris, so it will be good.”
The Diamond League trophy wrapped up a memorable season for Chopra, who also became the first Indian to win a silver at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene in July.
“I was injured after Eugene so I need some rest, two or three weeks and I (will) start some rehab and then some training for next year,” he added.