Chopra made his best effort of the day in the second throw, where he achieved distances of 83.80 meters, 81.37 meters, a foul, 80.74 meters, and 80.90 meters.
Indian Olympic and World champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra fell short in defending his Diamond League champion title, securing the second position in the grand finale with a modest attempt of 83.80 meters.
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Last month’s World Championship gold medalist, 25-year-old Chopra, fought to showcase his best performance in all 13 rounds of the one-day series at the Hévíz Field on Saturday. He made his best attempt of the day in the second throw, achieving distances of 83.80 meters, 81.37 meters, a foul, 80.74 meters, and 80.90 meters.
This marked Chopra’s first throw below 85 meters this season. He qualified for the Diamond League finals while standing in the third position. He had registered a winning throw of 88.44 meters in the 2022 Diamond League finals held in Zurich.
With a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and 45% humidity, none of the competitors were able to surpass the 85-meter mark. There was a notable difference in the wind speed readings in various field competitions held simultaneously, although they were not relevant for javelin throw.
Jacob Wadležich from Czech Republic became the Diamond League champion for the third time with a best throw of 84.24 meters. He had been leading in the top category from the beginning after an initial attempt of 84.01 meters.
Olivier Hellander from Finland secured the third place with his best attempt of 83.74 meters.
Two-time World Champion Anderson Peters had a tough session and ended up in the last position with a throw of 74.71 meters.
Wadležich won the Diamond League Trophy and a prize of 32,000 dollars, while Chopra received a prize of 12,000 dollars for securing the second position.
When asked about his impact on Indian athletics, Chopra said, ‘After winning the Olympic gold, they (Indians) also believe that we can win. I was at Budapest (World Championship), I won a gold medal there, and it will bring some changes in Indian athletics too.’
Neeraj Chopra scripted history by winning the Lausanne Diamond League
This is the same place where Chopra stood in the second position in the 2022 World Championship.
With his personal best of 89.94 meters and a season’s best of 88.77 meters, this Indian athlete won two individual Diamond League contests on May 5 in Doha and on June 30 in Lausanne, and then clinched the historic gold medal in the World Championship last month.
After winning the World Championship title with a throw of 88.17 meters in Budapest, he became the third javelin thrower in the history to win both the Olympic and World Championship titles.
A few days after winning the World Championship title, he participated in the Zurich Diamond League on August 31, where he stood second after Wadležich, who had defeated this Indian athlete in the previous two contests.
Chopra will now compete in the Asian Games starting at the end of this month in Hangzhou, where he will defend the gold won in Indonesia in 2018.
Chopra said, ‘I still have another competition to play in China in the Asian Games.’ He added, ‘The mindset plays a crucial role in big competitions. We don’t need to prepare ourselves. When we enter the stadium, our mind is ready, and our body is prepared for the competition.’
Speaking about his relationship with his competitors, he said, ‘I really enjoy competing with these people, they are all good friends, and we are all competing very well.'”