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Neeraj Chopra Sets New National Record With 89.30 Metre Throw

By: Sports Desk

Last Updated: June 15, 2022, 07:42 IST

Neeraj Chopra's 89.30m effort will take him to fifth spot in the world season leaders' list. (AP Image)

Neeraj Chopra's 89.30m effort will take him to fifth spot in the world season leaders' list. (AP Image)

The 24-year-old Chopra's first competitive event after just over 10 months was nothing short of extraordinary as he nearly touched the coveted 90m mark, considered the gold standard in the world of javelin throw.

Ace Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Tuesday set a new national record with a throw of 89.30 metres at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland. This was his first competitive event since winning the historic gold at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

He shattered his previous record of 88.07 m which he had set in Patiala in March last year.

Neeraj began the contest with an impressive 86.92m before sending the spear to 89.30m. However, his next three attempts were fouls. He came up with 85.85m in his sixth and final throw.

Despite setting a new record, Neeraj couldn’t take the gold as he ended up second in the contest. Finland’s Oliver Helander went ahead with a throw of 89.83 metres.

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Finland’s 25-year-old Oliver Helander, who has a personal best of 88.02m and season’s best of 80.36m, was the surprise gold winner with the best throw of 89.83m which he produced in his second attempt.

Chopra’s 89.30m effort will take him to fifth spot in the world season leaders’ list.

Reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, the pre-event favourite with his world-leading monster throw of 93.07m while winning gold in the Doha Diamond League last month, was third with a best effort of 86.60m. This was Peters’ first defeat after seven wins on the trot this season.

2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth with a best throw of 84.02m, followed by Germany’s Julian Weber (84.02m) and Czech Republic’s Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch (83.91m), who had won silver in Doha with a throw of 90.88m.

The Paavo Nurmi Games are named after the legendary Finnish middle and long distance runner. It is a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series event, one of the most prestigious competitions outside the Diamond League Meetings.

The competition organisers have provided an extra incentive for the javelin throwers: anyone who throws beyond the Finnish record of 93.09m will win a Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV. Nobody won it on Tuesday though Peters said in a lighter vein on Monday that he would be going for it.

Chopra will next take part in the Kourtane Games in Finland on Saturday where he is currently based. He will feature in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League on June 30. He had earlier trained in the USA and Turkey before shifting base to Finland last month.

(With PTI Inputs)

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first published:June 15, 2022, 00:08 IST
last updated:June 15, 2022, 07:42 IST
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