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Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will aim to create another history when he enters the finals of the prestigious Diamond League on Thursday (September 8). Neeraj is the first Indian to win Olympic gold and World Championship silver. Neeraj also became the first Indian athlete to win the Diamond League title held in Lausanne. Now he is a strong contender to win the Diamond League Final title.
Neeraj was injured after the World Championships. Due to this he could not take part in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. He then recovered from injury and won the gold medal in the Lausanne Diamond League with a throw of 89.08m. The 24-year-old from Panipat had qualified for the Diamond League finals in 2017 and 2018 but then finished seventh and fourth.
Neeraj will get a challenge from Jacob
Six male javelin throwers will compete in the Diamond League final. World champion Grenada’s Anderson is a strong contender for the title in the Diamond League final without Peter. Anderson was attacked on a boat in his own country. He is still recovering from injury. Neeraj is likely to face a tough challenge from Olympic silver medalist Jacob Vadlech of Czech Republic. Jacob has thrown more than 90 meters this season.
He has made it to the Zurich final with 27 points, while Neeraj is fourth with 15 points. After winning the gold in Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj and Jacob have come face to face four times so far. Every time Neeraj is on fire in this. While Neeraj finished second at the Pavo Nurmi Games and the Stockholm Diamond League, Valdech finished sixth and fourth respectively. In the World Championships held in America, Neeraj won silver while Valdech won bronze. Although 31-year-old Valdech was the winner of the Diamond League finals in 2016 and 2017. He won a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships, a bronze medal in 2022 and a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Jacob threw the 90.88m javelin in the Doha Diamond League in May this year. On the other hand, Neeraj’s best performance is 89.94 meters, which he made in Stockholm. The winner of the Diamond League will qualify for the World Athletics Champions to be held in Budapest, Hungary in 2023. However, Neeraj has qualified for the World Championships in Lausanne itself by throwing the javelin above the qualifying mark of 85.20.