On Thursday, September 8th, Olympic javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra made history once again by becoming the first Indian to win the famous Diamond League Finals title in Zurich. Chopra started with a foul, but in his second try, he threw an 88.44-metre discus, his fourth best in his career and the winning distance. He then threw 88.00m, 86.11m, 87.00m, and 83.60m on his following four attempts.
Outside of the Olympics and World Championships, the Diamond League Finals can be regarded as the most prestigious event. It was Neeraj Chopra’s third time competing in the Diamond League Finals, and he won.
Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, who won silver at the Olympic Games, came in second with a personal best throw of 86.94 metres on his fourth attempt. For third place, the German Julian Weber threw an 83.73m personal best. Now 24 years old, the Indian superstar has won the Olympic title, the silver medal at the World Championships, and the Diamond League title. He had accomplished all this in only 13 months. On August 7, 2016, he took home the gold medal at the Olympics in Tokyo.
This season, he has thrown for 88 metres or more six times. He has the current national record with a distance of 89.94m, which he set earlier this year. Finally, Chopra capped off his international season with a performance that will go down in the record books. In the world of track and field, the Diamond League Finals are second only to the Olympics and the World Championships in terms of prestige.
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WATCH Neeraj Chopra in the final of the Diamond League here…
Golds,Silvers done, he gifts a 24-carat Diamond 💎 this time to the nation 🇮🇳🤩— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) September 8, 2022
Ladies & Gentlemen, salute the great #NeerajChopra for winning #DiamondLeague finals at #ZurichDL with 88.44m throw.
FIRST INDIAN🇮🇳 AGAIN🏻#indianathletics 🔝
Chopra was playing in the Diamond League Finals for the third time. In 2017 he placed seventh overall, and in 2018 he placed fourth. Chopra received not only a wild card into the 2023 International Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, but also a Diamond Trophy, a cash prize of $30,000, and a Diamond Trophy.
However, he already has a spot reserved for him at the World Championships thanks to the fact that his winning throw in Lausanne’s leg was farther than the required 85.20 metres. Following a championship basis, the Diamond League includes all 32 Diamond Disciplines. Earning points at each of the 13 series meets are necessary for athletes to advance to the finals of their respective events.
Chopra won the Lausanne leg of the Diamond League series on August 26 to earn a spot in these Finals after missing the previous month due to an injury. With his third-best throw ever of 89.08 metres, he made history in Lausanne as the first Indian to win a Diamond League meet.
The little groyne injury he sustained when competing for silver at the World Championships in the United States in July kept him from competing at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (July 28–August 8). Anderson Peters, the reigning world champion from Grenada, was absent from the 6-man field in Zurich while he recovers from injuries sustained in an assault aboard a boat back home last month.
Chopra defeated Vadlejch, 31, for the fifth time since August of last year when she won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Sixth at the Paavo Nurmi Games (June 14) and fourth at the Stockholm Diamond League when Chopra placed second (June 30).
Before their rematch on August 26 in Lausanne, Chopra and Vadlejch both competed at the World Championships, with Chopra taking silver and Vadlejch taking bronze.