India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra claimed victory at the Doha Diamond League 2023, marking his return to top form after a break due to injury. However, the Olympic gold medalist fell short of breaching the 90-meter mark, leaving fans eagerly anticipating his next performance. He clinched victory with a world-leading throw in his first attempt.
Chopra’s first throw was 88.67 which was a great way to start the new season. Chopra was not satisfied with his first throw despite making a decent start. He was leading the chart after first attempt. Chopra’s second throw resulted in an 86.04m distance, maintaining his lead in the charts over Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch, who threw 88.63m, and world champion Anderson Peters, whose best attempt is 85.88m. With his third attempt, Neeraj threw the spear at a distance of 85.47m. Despite the decrease in distance from his first attempt.
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Chopra’s 88.67m and Vadlejch’s 88.63m were separated by a mere four centimetres at the top after the first three attempts. The Czech Republic thrower moved up to second place, overtaking Anderson Peters. Neeraj did a foul in his fourth attempt. In his second last attempt of the night, Neeraj threw 84.37m. Vadlejch throws 88.47m in his fifth attempt, while Anderson Peters falls behind with a throw of 82.22m.
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Chopra made history last year despite missing the Doha leg, becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League Meeting in Lausanne and then going on to win the 2022 grand finale in Zurich, becoming the first Indian Diamond League champion. While he feels physically and technically better than last year, the competition this year is tough, and he expects a great competition in the season-opening Diamond League.
The competition includes Peters, who produced the fifth-longest throw in history with 93.07m, Vadlejch, who won a bronze in the 2022 World Championships and has a personal best of 90.88m, European champion Julian Weber, 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott, and former world champion Julius Yego.
Chopra expressed his excitement for the competition and hopes for great results for all. He aims to cross the 90m mark, which is considered the gold standard in the world of javelin, but acknowledges that achieving this feat in his first competition of the season may be challenging. The Doha meet also features India’s Eldhose Paul competing in the triple jump alongside Tokyo Olympic champion Pedro Pichardo, reigning Diamond League winner Andy Diaz Hernandez, and Christian Taylor of the US.