Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic and world champion, was unable to retain his Diamond League champion’s title as he secured the second position with a modest performance, recording a throw of 83.80m in challenging windy conditions at the Hayward Field on Saturday.
Chopra, aged 25, faced difficulties in the challenging weather conditions, fouling in two of his attempts. His best throw of the competition was registered in his second attempt, with his series comprising fouls, 83.80m, 81.37m, fouls, 80.74m, and 80.90m.
This marked his first throw below 85 meters for the season. He had qualified for the Diamond League Finals in the third position. In the 2022 DL Finals held in Zurich, Chopra had emerged victorious with a throw of 88.44m.
Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic secured his third Diamond League championship title with a best throw of 84.24m in his final attempt. Vadlejch led the field of six athletes from the start, achieving an 84.01m throw in the first round.
Vadlejch, who won bronze at the Budapest World Championships and silver at the Tokyo Olympics, following Chopra, had previously secured the DL title in 2017 and 2018 as well.
The competition took place at the same venue where Chopra had secured the second position in the 2022 World Championships.
Neeraj Chopra, with a personal best of 89.94m, had earlier claimed victory in two individual DL meetings in Doha on May 5 and Lausanne on June 30. He then added to his achievements by winning a historic gold at the World Championships just last month, with a throw of 88.17m.
Shortly after his World Championships triumph, he participated in the Zurich DL leg on August 31, finishing in the second position behind Jakub Vadlejch.
Neeraj Chopra’s next endeavor is the Hangzhou Asian Games, commencing later this month, where he will aim to defend the gold medal he secured in 2018 in Indonesia.