STOCKHOLM: Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra notched his first top 3 finish at the prestigious Diamond League Meeting with a national record effort, but missed the 90m mark by a hair in a star-studded field on Thursday.
Chopra, 24, debuted with a stunning 89.94m throw, just 6cm from the 90m mark, the gold standard in the world of javelin throwing and that effort ultimately proved to be his better.

His other throws were 84.37m, 87.46m, 84.77m, 86.67 and 86.84m. He bettered his previous national record of 89.30m, which his spear had traveled by finishing second at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland on June 14.
World champion and season leader Anderson Peters from Granada won the competition with a best throw of 90.31m which he achieved in this third attempt.

He has thrown over 90m twice this season – 93.07m winning the Doha leg of the Diamond League last month before a 90.75m effort at Hengelo in the Netherlands.
Julian Weber of Germany finished third with a fifth-round throw of 89.08m while Olympic silver medalist from Tokyo Jakub Vadlejch (88.59m) from the Czech Republic finished fourth.
Another Czech athlete and Tokyo Olympics bronze medal Vitezslav Vesely finished seventh in the eight-man field with 82.57m.
Chopra has beaten Peters twice this month – in Turku where the Grenada athlete finished third and at the Kuortane Games, also in Finland, where the Indian superstar won gold with a best throw of 86.69m in wet and slippery conditions.
Chopra’s first pitch had raised hopes that he would make history of becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League event. Nonetheless, he became the second Indian to finish in the top three in a Diamond League competition after discus thrower Vikas Gowda.
2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Gowda, who retired in 2017, had finished in the top three in a Diamond League event four times in his career. He finished second in 2012 (New York) and 2014 (Doha) and third in Shanghai and Eugene in 2015.
Chopra was making his first Diamond League appearance in four years after finishing fourth in Zurich in August 2018. He has appeared in seven Diamond League fixtures, three in 2017 and four in 2018.
The prestigious one-day meet in the Swedish capital is Chopra’s biggest event ahead of the world championships in Eugene, USA, July 15-24.
The next Diamond League Meeting where javelin throwing is on the program will take place in Monaco on August 10th.
It has not been possible to confirm if Chopra will attend as it will happen just days after the Birmingham CWG (July 28 to August 8) where he will defend his title.
Germany’s Johannes Vetter, who has the most 90-plus pitches among active pitchers, continued to be on the sidelines. He is not in top form and had also missed the German nationals.



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