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Neeraj Chopra Scripted History, Becomes First Indian to Win Diamond League Title

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Aug 27, 2022 12:01 PM

Read Time: 3 minute

Olympic javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra made history on August 26 by becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League Meeting title by winning the Lausanne leg here.

The 24-year-old Chopra, who had withdrawn from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games due to a "minor" groyne injury sustained while winning silver at the World Championships last month, threw the spear to 89.08m in his first attempt to seal the victory in style.

Chopra rested and rehabilitated for a month, but it appeared as if the injury had never occurred, as he maintained his vintage form. His 89.08m throw was his third best effort of his career. His second throw measured 85.18m before he failed on his third try.

His fourth throw was a foul while he again passed his fifth attempt before coming up with 80.04m in the sixth and last round. Only the top three after the fifth round get the sixth throw.

Youngest India’s diamond league champion

The youngster from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana became the country's first Diamond League champion.

Before Chopra, the only Indian to finish in the top three at a Diamond League Meet was discus thrower Vikas Gowda. Gowda had previously finished second in New York in 2012 and Doha in 2014, as well as third in Shanghai and Eugene in 2015.

“I am delighted with my result tonight. 89m is a great performance. I am specially pleased as I am coming back from an injury and tonight was a good indicator that I have recovered well," Chopra said after the event. “I had to skip Commonwealth Games due to injury and I was a bit nervous. Tonight has given me a lot of confidence to finish the season on a high, with a strong performance in Zurich DL Final."

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch finished second with a best throw of 85.88m while Curtis Thompson of USA was third with a best effort of 83.72m.

First Indian to qualify for Diamond League Finals

Chopra became the first Indian to qualify for the Diamond League Finals in Zurich on September 7 and 8. Despite the victory, he remained in fourth place with 15 points after adding eight points on August 26. 

The top six finishers from the Lausanne leg advance to the Zurich Finals.

Vadlejch maintained his lead with 27 points, followed by Julian Weber (19 points) of Germany and Grenada's world champion Anderson Peters (16 points).

Weber and Peters did not attend Lausanne. Peters is recovering from an injury sustained earlier this month while aboard a boat in his home country.

Thompson and Latvia's Patriks Gailums qualified for the Zurich Finals as well. Chopra also qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, by clearing the qualifying height of 85.20m.

Chopra finished second in the event

Chopra finished second in the prestigious event's Stockholm leg behind Peters, with a national record throw of 89.94m, just 6cm short of the gold standard in the world of javelin throw.

In the World Championships in Eugene, USA, he did not reach the medal round until the third round, but Chopra led from the first throw until the last, despite the fact that the eight-man field was not particularly 

Also Read: Neeraj Chopra becomes 2nd Indian to win medal in World Athletics Championships

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