Neeraj Chopra wins gold and becomes India's first Diamond League champion
Reigning Olympic champ Neeraj Chopra created history by becoming India's first-ever Diamond League champion with a gold medal-winning throw of 88.44m that sealed the deal.
Neeraj Chopra has stomped off and made history by becoming the first Diamond League Champion from India with a gold-winning 88.44m throw and has added one more feather to his cap.
Entering as the overwhelming favourite, the reigning Olympic champion displayed supreme confidence and was super consistent throughout the event and redeemed himself by clinching the one medal missing from his cabinet - the coveted honour from the Diamond League. In what his third appearance at a Diamond League Final - Chopra made sure that he doesn't go empty-handed and put on a solid performance to claim the crown, a feat that had eluded him since 2017.
With a foul throw to begin proceedings to this Zurich Diamond League Final, Neeraj Chopra got the pulses racing from the get-go with Olympic silver medallist and former Diamond League Champion Jakub Vadleich, the key threat, opening with an 84.15 on his first attempt itself.
But come the second throw, Neeraj Chopra turned things around and gave his all into the second attempt and threw a distance of 88.44m to seal the deal, already. Meanwhile, Jakub Vadleich was the only one close to him at this stage as he bettered his first throw and threw the javelin to a distance of 86m.
Into the third throw, Chopra followed it up with another massive hurl of 88m while the fourth throw had her hurling the javelin to a distance of 86.11m. The fifth throw saw Neeraj Chopra still exerting himself a bit, but he could only notch an 87m hurl. By then, Vadleich also stepped up his game and threw the javelin to a distance of 86.94m, in the fourth game itself.
For the final throw, Chopra managed 83.60m but by then, the job was already done and history was already made for India at the Diamond League!
Breaking the National Record twice already this year - first, at the season-opening Paavo Nurmi Games where he threw 89.30m and then at the Stockholm Diamond League where he hurled the javelin to a distance of 89.94m, dangerously close to breaching the 90m mark, Chopra was easily the firm favourite to win the title, especially also because World Champion Anderson Peters was also absent.
Although the 90m mark continues to elude Chopra - his tryst with winning medals, putting in hard work and being consistent has not quite eluded the World Championships silver medallist. With this flamboyant win, Chopra has now ended India's long wait for a champion at the Diamond League and also ended his personal wait after an agonising 4th-place finish at the 2018 Diamond League Final.