Neeraj Chopra’s Remarkable Run Continues with Silver at Zurich Diamond League


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India’s Neeraj Chopra, barely a week after becoming the new world champion, finished second in the men’s javelin throw event at the Zurich Diamond League 2023 in Switzerland on Friday.

Neeraj Chopra’s best effort at the meet was 85.71m, which came with his final throw. The Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch was first with 85.86m. Neeraj Chopra’s best throw is 89.94m, a national record.

The result also ended Neeraj Chopra’s winning streak in the 2023 season. Heading into the Zurich meet, the Indian javelin throw ace had won the Diamond League legs in Doha and Lausanne before clinching a historic gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Competing on a clear night at the Letzigrund Stadium – the same venue where he became the 2022 Diamond League champion last year – Neeraj Chopra began with a modest 80.79m. After fouling his second and third throws, Neeraj Chopra managed an 85.22m with his fourth attempt to climb up to second behind Jakub Vadlejch, who logged an 85.86m with his fourth throw.

Chopra fouled again on his fifth attempt but entered the three-way sixth-round shootout with Jakub Vadlejch, the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, and Germany’s Julian Weber, the reigning European champion. After a foul by Vadlejch, Neeraj Chopra steamed in to throw an 85.71m, just 0.15m short of Vadlejch’s leading mark. Julian Weber came up with a solid 84.92m.

Neeraj Chopra’s marks at Zurich Diamond League 2023: 80.79m, No mark, No mark, 85.22m, No mark, 85.71m Athletes are awarded points instead of medals for competing in each leg of the Diamond League series. The top six athletes in each event at the end of all the legs will qualify for the Diamond League Final in Eugene in September. Neeraj Chopra had already sealed his place in the finals coming into the Zurich meet.

PC: NDTV, Zurich Diamond League: Men’s Javelin (C’tsy: Diamond League)

India’s Murali Sreeshankar, meanwhile, finished fifth in the men’s long jump event at Zurich with a best effort of 7.99m. This was Murali Sreeshankar’s third Diamond League event of the year. The Indian long jumper managed an impressive third-place finish at the Paris leg and was fifth in Lausanne.

Sreeshankar’s showing at Zurich also earned him four qualifying points, sealing his spot in the Diamond League Final 2023. Sreeshankar is now only the second Indian athlete, after Neeraj Chopra, to make the cut for a Diamond League Final.

Murali Sreeshankar, who has a personal best of 8.41m, started with an impressive 7.99m with his first attempt, which put him in the lead, ahead of Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou, the reigning Olympic, world and Diamond League champion, after the first round of jumps.

An 8.04m from Tentoglou, however, saw the Indian drop down to second place in the second round. Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle took the lead with an 8.07m leap in the fourth round. In the fifth round, US athlete Jarrion Lawson’s 8.05m and Czech jumper’s Radek Juska 8.04m effort pushed Sreeshankar down to fifth, denying the Indian a final crack at climbing the leaderboard.

PC: Olympics

Only the top three got to attempt their sixth jump. Miltiadis Tentoglou, with a clutch 8.20m with his final jump, eventually pipped Tajay Gayle and Jarrion Lawson to the top spot. Murali Sreeshankar’s marks at Zurich Diamond League 2023: 7.99m, 7.96m, No Mark, 7.96m, 7.93m

Featured Image: News18

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