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Neeraj Chopra makes history, becomes first Indian to win Diamond League

The win also helped Neeraj Chopra qualify for the Diamond League final in Zurich next month.

The win also helped Neeraj Chopra qualify for the Diamond League final in Zurich next month.

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra made athletic history in Lausanne on August 26, 2022, becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League event.

The 24-year-old javelin thrower who won silver at the World Cup in the US last month – also a first for the country – opened with an impressive 89.08m and that turned out to be the winning throw.

The win also helped Chopra qualify for the Diamond League final in Zurich next month.

Also read: Neeraj Chopra | A look at the performance of the javelin throwing champion

Chopra, who skipped the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with an injury, had three valid throws (85.18 in the second and 80.04 in the sixth) in the event after passing his third and fifth attempts.

Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, the silver medalist of the Tokyo Olympics who started first in Lausanne with a season best of 90.88 m, finished second with 85.88, while American Curtis Thompson was third with 83, 72.

“I am very happy with my result tonight. 89m is a great achievement. I’m especially happy because I’m coming back from injury and tonight was a good indication that I’ve recovered well,” Chopra said after the event.

“I had to skip Commonwealth Games because of an injury and I was a little nervous. Tonight has given me a lot of confidence to finish the season on a high level, with a strong performance in the Zurich DL Final. ”

Chopra qualified for the Diamond League Finals in Zurich on September 7 and 8 and also became the first Indian to do so. Despite the win, he remained in fourth place with 15 points – with the addition of eight points on Friday. The top six after the Lausanne stage qualify for the Zurich final.

Chopra also qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary by crossing the 85.20m qualifying mark.

Chopra had finished second in the Stockholm stage of the prestigious event behind Peters with a national record throw of 89.94m, just 6cm under 90m, the gold standard in the world of javelin throwing.

At the World Championships in Eugene, USA, he wasn’t in the medal position until the third round, but here Chopra led from the first pitch to the end, although the eight-man field wasn’t as strong.

(With inputs from PTI)

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