India’s golden boy Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, finished second at the Zurich Diamond League. He lost the event by just 15 centimetres to Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadljech who hurled the javelin 85.86m. While Chopra’s highest throw was 85.71m.
The 25-year-old began with a distance of 80.79m and then fouled in his second and third throws. He managed 85.22m on his fourth attempt. He finished with his best effort but remained second to the Czech athlete.
With this result, Neeraj Chopra has qualified for the Diamond League final which will be held in Eugene, USA on 16-17 September. Chopra finished third with 23 points as the top six athletes qualified for the final event.
“I feel very good now because everyone is a little tired after the World Championships – we gave our 100 percent there, but for this competition here my focus was to just stay healthy, and we have to focus now for Eugene (Diamond League Final) and then the Asian Games,” he said after the event.
The Indian ace highlighted that sometimes the primary goal is to stay healthy and not push too much. “For me, the focus was just to stay healthy and to give my 100 percent in my next competitions,” the Indian ace added. “Sometimes we need to read our body. Today, I feel OK, I am 100 percent OK, but I did not push too much. Sometimes, our No. 1 goal is to stay healthy. Today I gave it my best, but still with the focus to stay healthy,” he added.
On the other hand, Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar finished fifth in the men’s long jump event in Zurich. Coming from a very disappointing World Athletics Championships Shreeshankar did reasonably well in Zurich.
He recorded the best jump of 7.99m in his very first attempt and he took the lead over World Champion Miltiadis Tentoglou after the first round. However, an 8.04m effort from Tentoglou saw Sreeshankar drop down to second position. Gradually Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle, USA’s Jarrison Lawson and Czech Republic’s Radek Juska wne tover him with above 8m jumps forcing him to drop to fifth position and denying him the chance to attempt the sixth jump. Tentoglou with a sensational 8.20m jump won the event
Sreeshankar has also qualified for the Diamond League final in Eugene with 14 points in three Diamond League meets.