On August 26, 2022, Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra created sports history in Lausanne by being the first Indian to triumph in a Diamond League competition.
The javelin thrower, 24, who captured silver at the World Championships in the USA last month—a first for the nation—opened with a strong 89.08m, which ultimately proved to be the winning throw.
Chopra’s qualification for the Diamond League finals in Zurich the following month was also aided by the victory.
Chopra, who was injured and was unable to compete in the most recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, passed his third and fifth attempts in the competition and had three legal throws (85.18 in second and 80.04 in sixth).
Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, the silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics who started as the top seed in Lausanne with a season-best of 90.88m, came in second with an 85.88, and American Curtis Thompson came in third with an 83.72.
“With my performance tonight, I am overjoyed. 89m was a superb performance. Since I am recovering from an injury and tonight was a promising indicator that I have done so, I am extremely happy “Following the performance, Chopra said.
“I was a little anxious because I had to miss the Commonwealth Games owing to an injury. I now feel very confident that I can end the season on a high note and do well in the Zurich DL Final.
Chopra became the first Indian to qualify for the Diamond League Finals, which will be held in Zurich on September 7 and 8. Despite the victory, he held onto fourth place with 15 points after adding 8 points on Friday. the top six following the leg in Lausanne
Neeraj Chopra’s national record javelin throw matched or surpassed only 3% times since 1986
Chopra also qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary by breaching the 85.20m qualifying mark.
Chopra had finished second in the Stockholm leg of the prestigious event behind Peters with a national record throw of 89.94m, just 6cm short of the 90m mark, the gold standard in the world of javelin throw.
In the World Championships in Eugene, USA, he was not in the medal position till the third round but here Chopra was leading from the first throw till the end though the eight-man field was not so strong.