Neeraj Chopra finishes second in Diamond League final

File photo of Neeraj Chopra© AFP

Olympian and world champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra failed to defend his Diamond League title as he finished second with a modest performance of 83.80m in Eugene on Saturday. The 25-year-old Chopra struggled in the windy conditions in the grand final at Hayward Field as he failed his two attempts. His best throw of the day came in the second attempt. His streak read fouls, 83.80m, 81.37m, fouls, 80.74 and 80.90m. This was his first throw under 85m of the season. He had qualified for the DL Finals in third place. He had won the 2022 DL Finals in Zurich with a throw of 88.44m.

Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic 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 led the six-man field from the start after his first round of 84.01m.

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

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

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

He had become only the third javelin thrower in history to hold both the Olympic and World Championship crowns after winning the world championships in Budapest with a throw of 88.17m.

Just a few days after winning the WC title, he competed in the Zurich DL stage on 31 August, finishing second to Vadlejch.

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

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