Neeraj Chopra, Commonwealth Games javelin champion, to compete in Doha Diamond League
India’s young Commonwealth Games javelin champion Neeraj Chopra will face the world’s elite throwers when he competes in his first Diamond League athletics meet of the season at Doha on Friday.
Chopra, 20, achieved a season’s best 86.47m to win gold in Australia and is currently ranked third in the world. However, the top field in the capital of Qatar will be led by Germany’s world champion Johannes Vetter, whose season best of 92.70m was recorded at the European Throwing Cup in March and his compatriot and Olympic champion, Thomas Rohler.
Chopra’s personal best of 86.48m, a world junior record, was set in the 2016 junior world championships in Poland.
A third German, Andreas Hofmann, will also be among the 10-man field. He too is a 90-plus thrower, with a personal best of 91.07m.
Czech Republic, the traditional javelin powerhouse, will be represented by Jakub Vadlejch, winner of the 2017 diamond league circuit, Petr Frydrych.
Kenya’s Rio silver medallist Julius Yego has been struggling with his form after an injury layoff, but will be in the field along with Magnus Kirt of Estonia and Qatar’s Ahmed Bader Magour.
Chopra has two back-to-back 85m plus efforts this season and Doha will be another step in his bid to establish himself at the senior level.
Vetter is the only thrower to have twice crossed 90m mark this season.
After Doha, Neeraj is also expected to compete in the European leg of the Diamond League at Oslo (June 7). Stockholm (June 10) and Paris (June 30). He proposes to train in Finland from May 15, which will make travel to participate in the Europe leg easier and build-up for the Jakarta Asian Games starting on August 18.