Neeraj Chopra started his 2023 campaign exactly from where he finished last season, adding yet another accolade to his record. The defending Diamond League champion, Neeraj won the Doha Diamond League javelin throw event on Friday, 5 May, with the best throw of 88.67m.
The Olympic gold medallist, who also is the first Indian to win a Diamond League title, faced a tall order in this event, with fellow Tokyo Olympics medallist, Jakub Vadlejch, and two-time World Championships winner, Anderson Peters also competing for glory.
The 25-year-old started off with a throw of 88.67m, which eventually turned out to be the winning throw. His next couple of attempts were 86.04 and 85.47m respectively, and whilst the fourth attempt resulted in a foul, he returned with throws of 84.37m and 86.52m in what was, overall, an impressive showing.
Minister Anurag Thakur congratulated Chopra on his massive win through a tweet.
Czech Republic’s Vadlejch stood second, with Grenada’s Peters finishing third. After starting with a throw of 85.51m, Vadlejch recorded 88.63m in his second attempt – eventually proving enough to clinch second place, 0.04m shy of Neeraj’s attempt.
Peters, on the other hand, started off with an 85.88m throw, which was enough for the third position. Germany’s Weber, who won the European Champions last year, followed Peters in the standings.
With this win, Neeraj has also bagged the world lead.
The next men’s javelin throw event in this season’s Diamond League will take place at Lausanne, Switzerland, on 30 June. It has also been included in the programme for the Monaco edition, taking place on 21 July, Zurich edition, taking place on 31 August, and the Eugene event, which will mark the final of the 2023 Diamond League, and will take place between 16 and 17 September.
Neeraj won last season’s Diamond League with an 88.44m throw in Zurich, Switzerland. Earlier in the season, however, he recorded a personal best of 89.94m, which helped him finish second in the Stockholm edition. This time around, he will be aiming to breach the 90m mark.
Meanwhile, he has also confirmed that he will be participating in the Golden Spike Ostrava athletics meet, which will be held in Czech Republic on 27 June.
Upcoming men's javelin throw events at the Diamond League 2023:
Lausanne, Switzerland – 30 June
Monaco – 21 July
Zurich, Switzerland – 31 August
Eugene, United States of America – 16-17 September (Final)