Neeraj Chopra creates history, becomes first-ever Indian to win Diamond Trophy
Neeraj Chopra on Thursday, September 8 became the first Indian to win the Dimond Trophy, the prestigious title in the finale of the Diamond League series in men’s javelin. The 24-year-old, the Olympic champion from Tokyo, threw 88.44m to finish on the top step of the podium.
Neeraj finished ahead of Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch and Germany's Julian Webber to script history. The Indian javelin star began with a foul while Vadlejch took the lead in the first attempt with 84.15m throw. However, Neeraj threw 88.44m in his 2nd attempt and it was not bettered till the end of the competition.
Neeraj then threw 88.00m in his 3rd attempt, 86.11m in his 4th attempt and 87.00m in his 5th and 83.60m in his final attempt. Vadlejch finished 2nd with a best attempt of 86.94m.
Neeraj’s 3 throws were better than the rest of the field in another dominant show from the Indian, this time in the Diamond League Final.
NEERAJ COMPLETES THE SET
Neeraj has won the Olympic Gold in 2021, the Asian Games Gold in 2018, the Commonwealth Games Gold in 2018, the World Athletics Championships silver in 2022. However, he had said that he would want to win the Diamond Trophy to complete the set and spoke about the importance of Diamond League events for him.
Neeraj walked the talk in Zurich on Thursday, topping the 6-man field, which also included Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Jakub Vadlecjh.
Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win the prestigious Diamond Trophy, the title in the Diamond League final in Zurich after having achieved a series of firsts earlier this year. The Tokyo Olympic champion had become the first Indian to finish first in a leg of the Diamond League when he finished with 89.08m in Lausanne Diamond League in August.
He had earlier competed in two Diamond League finals, finishing 7th in 2017 and finishing 4th in 2018.
The historic throw in Lausanne was also Neeraj’s return to competitive action after having missed the Commonwealth Games due to an injury that he picked up during the World Athletics Championships in Eugene wherein he threw 88.13m in the final to win a silver medal, the country’s first as well.
Before Eugene, Neeraj had achieved his personal best at the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League with a 89.94m throw. He finished 2nd best behind reigning world champion Anderson Peters, who missed the Diamond League Finale in Zurich due to injury concerns after he sustained an attack on a boat in Grenada.
Neeraj competed only in 2 legs of the Diamond League in 2022 and a win in Laussane and second place in Stockholm were enough for him to book a place in the finale in Zurich.
Neeraj had finished 4th behind Jakub Vadlech (27 from 4 events), Julian Weber (19 from 3 events), and Anderson Peters (16 from 2 events). Neeraj finished with 15 from 2 events. Each athlete is awarded 8 points for finishing first in a leg of the Diamond League, 7 for finishing 2nd, 6 for finishing 3rd and 5 for finishing 4th.