Neeraj Chopra wins a second consecutive Diamond League Championship: Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra threw his javelin to 87.66m on Friday (June 30) to win the coveted Diamond League title for the second time in a row, but the coveted 90m mark once again eluded the star Indian javelin thrower.
Returning from a month-long injury layoff, Chopra’s title-winning performance at the Lausanne stage in challenging conditions fell short of his top-10 efforts, but he nevertheless stamped his authority at the prestigious one-day meet.
The 25-year-old Chopra won the season-opening Diamond League in Doha on May 5 with a career-best fourth throw of 88.67 meters. Chopra missed three major competitions last month due to a hamstring strain.
Chopra, who often performs at his peak in the first round, had to wait until his fifth attempt to overtake the competition. He had moved up to second place by the end of the fourth round.
“I was feeling a little nervous coming back from injury,” Chopra stated following his victory. This evening, it was a little chilly outside. Although I’m still not at my best, I believe things are improving.
The men’s javelin throw competition took place on an overcast day with a 17 °C temperature reading and a 78 % humidity level.
“I’m relieved that everything is working out well for me. A victory is a victory, and I shall take it gladly.
Among the first to congratulate the champion athlete on his most recent accomplishment was Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I’d like to congratulate @Neeraj_chopra1 on his success at the Lausanne Diamond League. He won the competition because of his outstanding efforts. His brilliance, commitment, and unwavering pursuit of perfection are admirable, the prime minister tweeted.
After committing a foul, Chopra made throws of 83.52 and 85.04 meters. In the fourth round, he committed another foul before making the 87.66-meter throw that won him the championship. His sixth and last throw measured 84.15 meters.
With a best throw of 87.03 meters, Germany’s Julian Weber finished second, while the season’s leading thrower and silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics, Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, finished third with an effort of 86.13 meters.
In fifth place with a best throw of 82.23 meters was the reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada.
Chopra had already won the Diamond League’s Lausanne leg in August 2022.
He won the 2022 grand event in Zurich a month later to become the first Indian Diamond League winner.
With 16 points, the Indian superstar secured the top spot in the Diamond League standings, ahead of Vadlejch (13 points) and Weber (12 points), who each have personal bests of 89.94 meters.
Men’s javelin throw will also be on the schedule following the Lausanne competition in the legs in Monaco and Zurich on July 21 and August 31, respectively, before the Diamond League championship in Eugene, USA, on September 16-17.
Chopra released a statement on May 29 detailing his injury. He canceled his participation in the FBK Games on June 4 in Hengelo (Netherlands), the Paavo Nurmi Games on June 13 in Turku, Finland, and the Ostrava Golden Spike meet on June 27 in the Czech Republic.
The three meets were all gold-level World Athletics Continental Tour competitions.
However, he did not miss any Diamond League events as the men’s javelin throw events were not planned for the next stages in Rabat, Rome, Paris, and Oslo.
India’s Murali Sreeshankar placed fifth in the men’s long jump with a subpar leap of 7.88m that he made in the third round.
The 24-year-old Sreeshankar, who finished third in the Paris leg of the Diamond League on June 9 for his first podium finish, had earlier this month at Bhubaneswar’s National Inter-State Championships produced an 8.41m that was a career-high.
LaQuan Nairn of the Bahamas won the gold medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games over Sreeshankar with a third-round leap of 8.11 meters.
Yuki Hashioka of Japan placed third with a leap of 7.98 meters, while Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece placed second with an attempt of 8.07 meters.