Indian heartthrob Neeraj Chopra on Thursday rewrote his own national record with a throw of 89.94m in his first attempt at the Stockholm Diamond League (BAUHAUS-Galan). This was the second time that the Tokyo Olympics javelin throw gold medallist has broken the national record in a month. (More Sports News)
Competing in his first Diamond League event in four years, the 24-year-old from Khandra in Haryana finished second behind Grenadian world champion Anderson Peters who won the event with a best throw of 90.31m, which is a meet record.
In his second attempt, Neeraj Chopra managed only 84.37m. There was a slight improvement in the third attempt with a throw of 87.46m. Then it dipped to 84.77m in the fourth attempt. Neeraj Chopra produced throws of 86.67m and 86.84m in his fifth and sixth attempts.
After the event, Neeraj Chopra said that he felt very good.
"First round I threw 89.94m, close to 90m, so I feel very good. I thought I can throw over 90m today. It's okay I have more competitions this year."
Germany's Julian Weber finished third with an 89.08m throw, ahead of Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch (88.59m)
This was also Neeraj Chopra's maiden podium finish in World Athletics' premier event. He previously competed in seven Diamond League meetings -- three in 2017 and four in 2018. And the previous best was a throw of 87.43m in Doha 2018.
On June 14, Neeraj Chopra improved his national record with a throw of 89.30m at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. But he finished second behind local favourite, Oliver Helander, who produced a throw of 89.93m.
Four days later on June 18, Chopra won his first gold of the season at the Kuortane Games in Finland. This time though, with a modest throw of 86.69m.
Chopra skipped the first seven Diamond League meetings this season in Doha (Qatar), Birmingham (England), Eugene (USA), Rabat (Morocco), Rome (Italy), Oslo (Norway) and Paris (France).
There will be five more, including the season finale in Zurich (Germany) on September 7 and 8.
The next stop is in Chorzow (Poland) on August 6, followed by meetings in Fontvieille (Monaco) on August 10, in Lausanne (Switzerland) on August 26, and in Brussels (Belgium) on September 2.
But the next meeting where javelin throw will be a part of the programme is in Monaco.
Chopra will be seen in action next at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (July 28 to August 8), where he will be defending his title.
Meanwhile, the star javelin thrower has been named among a 22-member Indian athletics team for the World Championships, to be held in Eugene, the USA from July 15 to 24. The team has 17 men and five women athletes.
Besides Chopra and Rohit Yadav is the other javelin thrower in the team.