Neeraj Chopra scripts history again, becomes first Indian to win Lausanne Diamond League title
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra made a strong comeback from injury and scripted history at the Lausanne Diamond League on Friday (August 26). Chopra became the first Indian to claim a Diamond League Meeting title as he won the Lausanne leg. The Indian javelin superstar has enjoyed a stellar run so far this season.
After clinching silver at the World Athletics Championships earlier this year, Chopra looked primed to defend his title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. However, he had to pull out of the Games due to a groin injury which he had sustained during the World Championships final.
Chopra made a brilliant comeback in the Lausanne Diamond League on Friday as he went on to seal the title with a strong throw of 89.08m in his first attempt. He went on to record 85.18m in his second throw before passing on his third attempt. He fouled on his fourth attempt and passed his fifth attempt before ending with an 80.04m throw in his final attempt.
He is the first Indian javelin thrower and the second athlete after Vikas Gowda to finish in the top three in a Diamond League meet. Discuss thrower Gowda had finished second in Diamond League meets in New York and Doha in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Chopra also qualified for the Diamond League finals in Zurich next month by winning the Lausanne leg. He became the first Indian to qualify for the finals and will be aiming for glory in the finals which are scheduled to take place on September 7 and 8.
He also qualified for the 2023 Athletics World Championships by breaching the 85.20 qualifying mark on Friday. Following his victory, Chopra looked pleased about his recovery and rehabilitation as he expressed confidence about putting up a show in the finals next month.
“I am delighted with my result tonight. 89m is a great performance. I am specially pleased as I am coming back from an injury and tonight was a good indicator that I have recovered well," Chopra said after finishing on top at the Lausanne Diamond League.
“I had to skip the Commonwealth Games due to injury and was a bit nervous. Tonight has given me a lot of confidence to finish the season on a high, with a strong performance in Zurich DL Final," he added.