Neeraj Chopra Finishes Second in Men’s Javelin at Diamond League Finals

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Neeraj Chopra finished second, with a throw of 83.80m, at the Diamond League finals in Eugene on Sunday. Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic won with a throw of 84.24m as Finland’s Oliver Helander, who had a best effort of 83.74m, in third.

Neeraj Chopra in Diamond League 2023 Finals: Highlights

The 25-year-old Chopra struggled in the windy conditions in the grand finale at the Hayward Field as he fouled his two attempts. His best throw of the day came in the second attempt. His series read foul, 83.80m, 81.37m, foul, 80.74 and 80.90m.

This was his first below 85m throw of the season. He had qualified for the DL Finals at the third spot. He had won the 2022 DL Finals in Zurich with a throw of 88.44m.

Jakub Vadlejch became the Diamond League champion for the third time with a best throw of 84.24m which came in his sixth and final attempt. He was leading the six-man field from the beginning following his first-round effort of 84.01m.

Vadlejch, who won bronze in the Budapest Worlds and silver in Tokyo Olympics behind Chopra, had also clinched the DL title in 2017 and 2018.

This was the same venue where Chopra had finished second in the 2022 World Championships.

The Indian, who has a personal best of 89.94m, won two individual DL meetings in Doha on May 5 and Lausanne on June 30 before clinching a historic gold in the World Championships last month.

Neeraj Chopra is already looking forward to the next competition.

“I still have one more competition, Asian Games in China,” Neeraj Chopra said after he failed to defend his Diamond League title.

When asked about his influence on track and field in India, Neeraj said: “After Olympic gold, they also believe that we can also win. I was there in Budapest, I won gold there, and it will also change something in Indian Athletics.”

“In big competition I think always it’s about mindset; in big competition we don’t need to prepare ourself. When we enter into the stadium, our mind is ready and body will be ready for the competition. I really like to compete with these guys, all are good friends and we’re all competing in a very good way.” Neeraj Chopra added.

Jakub Vadlejch could not believe he won.

“It’s always tough competing with Neeraj, but victory is for me, very valuable. I’m still dreaming,” Jakub Vadlejch said after winning the Diamond League.

“I felt very well. Actually, one throw I had over 85 meters, over 86, but it was a centimeter false. It was very good,” he added.

“It’s very difficult, especially in my age, I’m almost 33 years old, so it’s difficult but javelin throw is my life, so I love it,” Vadlejch added.

Jakub Vadlejch is looking forward to winding down after a successful season.

“This is end of season, and now rest and rest and rest. Tomorrow, maybe day after tomorrow I will fly to Prague and then I will lie on bed and nothing more,” Vadlejch said.

Neeraj had become only the third javelin thrower in history to hold both the Olympic and World Championships crowns after winning the worlds title in Budapest with a throw of 88.17m.

Just a few days after winning the World Championships title, he competed in the Zurich DL leg on August 31 when he finished second behind Vadlejch.

Chopra will now head to the Hangzhou Asian Games beginning later this month where he will defend the gold he had won in 2018 in Indonesia.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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