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'Not happy with my efforts': Neeraj Chopra after finishing 2nd at Doha Diamond League

Neeraj Chopra finished second behind Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic at the Doha Diamond League as he fell just 2 cm short of Jakub's 88.38m throw.

Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra clinched gold at Paavo Nurmi Games 2024 (Photo Credits: AP)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 11 May 2024 11:30 AM GMT

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, the reigning Olympic and world champion, opened his season with a second-place finish. He was pipped by Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch, the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, at the Doha Diamond League on Saturday by two centimetres.

Jakub, the winner of last season's Diamond League's first-place position, topped the Doha leg of the Diamond League with a throw of 88.38m, with Neeraj lagging by 2 cm as he could throw his season-best effort of 88.36m.

'My body was not at the peak'

After his second-place finish, the 26-year-old Indian superstar did a quick assessment of his performance and switched his focus to the upcoming competitions.

"Honestly, I felt I could throw beyond 88m, but that did not happen. I am happy with the fact that I was consistent with my throws, but not with my efforts. My first throw was very bad (foul)," Neeraj was quoted as saying by NNIS.

"This is my first competition, the good thing is that despite my body was not at its peak (I don't know for what reason), I could throw 88m. More competitions are coming up, I will work hard and prepare for the next competition. I will play three to four competitions before the Paris Olympics," added the athlete.

Neeraj, however, is confident of achieving the elusive 90m throw.

"Today I felt I could do it, but somewhere I could not. Maybe God wants me to do it somewhere else. But I am happy with my consistent performances, and I will throw over 90m," he vowed.

'We push each other'

Talking about his burgeoning rivalry with Jakub, who finished behind Neeraj at the Tokyo Olympics and fell to third place at the Eugene World Championships with the Indian snatching away the silver medal, Neeraj said, "It was a good competition with Jakub, I was just behind by 2 cm. It feels good when there is a good contest. We push each other to go for better throws. In the upcoming competitions, I will do better."

Message for Federation Cup: 'Come and support us'

For Neeraj, the next destination is Bhubaneswar, where he will compete at the Federation Cup, slated for May 12-15.

"I have to travel to Bhubaneswar. There is a competition in just next 4-5 days. I request more and more people to come and watch and support the athletes. And of course, I will try to give my best to make it an exciting competition," stated Neeraj.

The javelin throw competition has been scheduled for the final day of the Federation Cup at the Kalinga Stadium.

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