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Will Neeraj Chopra breach 90m barrier in Kuortane Games?

Having set a new National Record upon his return to action at Turku with a throw of 89.30m, Tokyo gold medallist Neeraj Chopra is expected to breach the 90m mark at the Kuortane Games.

Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in action at Tokyo Olympics (Source: Indian Express)

Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in action at Tokyo Olympics (Source: Indian Express)



Published: 17 Jun 2022 12:17 PM GMT

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will be primed to breach the 90m mark during the Kuortane Games in Finland on Saturday after his spectacular return to action in Turku where he had sent his spear to 89.30m for a new national record.

The 24-year-old Indian superstar's spear landed 70cm short of the 90m mark, the gold standard of the javelin world at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on Tuesday in his first competition after winning gold in Tokyo in August last year.

He was second in a star-studded field behind local athlete Oliver Helander, who was the surprise gold winner with a personal best of 89.83m. Chopra will be competing for the second time this week at the Kuortane Games, which is a silver-level event in the World Athletics Continental Tour.

He is currently based at the Kuortane Olympic Training Centre, around 300km from Turku, ahead of the all-important World Championships (July 15-24) in Eugene in USA.It will be a world-class field in Kuortane but not as strong as in Turku. Reigning world champion Anderson Peters, the season leader with 93.07m throw but who finished third in Turku behind Chopra with 86.60m, will be there.

Helander would also be pumped up to produce another big throw under home conditions once again.

There will also be 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago who was fourth in Turku with 84.02m. But the Czech Republic's Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch, who was sixth in Turku, and fifth-placed Julian Weber of Weber, will be missing in action.

Chopra's great competitor and friend Johannes Vetter of Germany is also not there though he had won the event here last year with a monster throw of 93.59m. Chopra was third last year with a throw of 86.79m.

If Chopra breaches the 90m mark, which he had said should come this year, he will become the 21st javelin thrower to do so.

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