Neeraj Chopra Becomes First Indian To Win Diamond League Title

New Delhi: Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Friday scripted history for the country once again as he became the first Indian to clinch a Diamond League Meeting title by winning the Lausanne leg in Switzerland.

Chopra, 24, had pulled out of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games due to a minor groin injury he had suffered while winning silver during the World Championships last month. He hurled the spear to 89.08m in his first attempt at Luasanne.

The 89.08m throw was his third career-best effort. His second throw measured 85.18m before passing on his third attempt.

His fourth throw was a foul while he again passed his fifth attempt before coming up with 80.04m in the sixth and last round. Only the top three after the fifth round get the sixth throw.

Before Chopra, discus thrower Vikas Gowda is the only Indian to have finished in the top three in a Diamond League Meet. Gowda had finished second twice, in New York in 2012 and in Doha in 2014  and third on two occasions — Shanghai and Eugene in 2015.

“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 was quoted as saying after the event.

“I had to skip Commonwealth Games due to injury and I 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.”

Chopra qualified for the Diamond League Finals in Zurich on September 7 and 8, and also became the first Indian to do so. Despite the win, he remained in the fourth spot with 15 points — with the addition of eight points on Friday. The top six after the Lausanne leg qualify for Zurich Finals.

Vadlejch remained on top spot with 27 points, followed by Julian Weber (19 points) of Germany and world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada (16 points). Weber and Peters did not take part in Lausanne. Peters is recovering from an injury after he was assaulted inside a boat in his country earlier this month.

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