Neeraj Chopra betters own national record in javelin throw at IAAF Diamond League
Neeraj Chopra, fresh from claiming the javelin gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, broke his own national record at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha on Friday night.
The 20-year-old hurled the javelin to 87.43m in his second attempt in the high-voltage competition in the Qatari capital while finishing fourth in a 10-man field.
The effort bettered Chopra’s national record of 86.48m, set while winning the junior world title in Poland in 2016 with an U-20 world record.
India’s hottest track and field athlete from Haryana opened with a modest 81.17m while Germany’s world champion Johannes Vetter took early control of the competition with 91.56m. Chopra’s second attempt pitch-forked him to second.
However, a sensational German 1-2-3 saw Olympic champion Thomas Rohler clinch victory with 91.78m in his second try. Andreas Hofmann finished third with a final try of 90.08m.
Chopra fouled his final attempt, but will be buoyed after missing out on a podium only due to the presence of the world-class German opposition.
Neeraj Chopra’s CWG win at 86.47m was just a centimetre short of his national record. However, having erased the mark to signify progress will keep Chopra on course to meet his target of hitting the 90m mark, which will establish him as a serious contender at world level.
Chopra, taking big strides among senior at the elite level will continue his build-up for the Jakarta Asian Games, starting on August 18. He will return home before heading to Finland for training, which will also make it easier to travel to three more IAAF Diamond League events in Europe.
Chopra, the brightest global medal prospect of India with high jumper Tejaswin Shankar, was training in Germany in the build-up to the Gold Coast CWG. However, he is now training under India’s chief javelin coach, Uwe Hohn, the former German javelin great.