Neeraj Chopra becomes first Indian to win Diamond League 

Neeraj Chopra won the Zurich Diamond League Final 2022 with an 88.44m throw. The Indian javelin ace, in fact, recorded the top three throws in the final.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Tokyo Olympics javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra achieved another first for India by winning the Zurich Diamond League Final 2022 in Switzerland on Thursday.

Neeraj Chopra’s second throw, measuring 88.44m, won him the Diamond League trophy, a first for an Indian.

Competing under overcast conditions, Neeraj Chopra overstepped and fouled in his first try of the night at the Letzigrund Stadium.

The Indian javelin ace followed up his first two throws with 88.00m in his third attempt. Neeraj Chopra recorded 86.11 in his fourth attempt, and 87.00m in his fifth. His last throw measured 83.60m.

Neeraj Chopra pipped 2016 Diamond League champion and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic to the title. Vadlejch fell well short of his season’s and personal best throw of 90.88m at Zurich to finish second with a best attempt of 86.94m.

Reigning European champion Julian Weber of Germany came in third with an 83.73m throw. He was followed by USA’s Curtis Thompson (82.40m), Patriks Gailums of Latvia (80.44m) and Portugal’s national champion Leandro Ramos (71.96m).

A total of six finalists competed at the Grand Final in Zurich after qualifying through a series of Diamond League events this season. 

World champion Anderson Peters of Grenada also qualified for the 2022 grand final but was replaced by reserve athlete Leandro Ramos after failing to recover from an off-the-field assault.

Neeraj Chopra, meanwhile, made the cut for his third Diamond League Grand Final after winning the Lausanne Diamond League last month and finishing second at the Stockholm Diamond League back in June. He had bettered his own national record with an 89.94m throw at the Stockholm meet.

At the 2017 Diamond League Final, Neeraj Chopra finished seventh with an 83.80m throw among eight finalists. The Indian javelin thrower improved the following year and came in fourth with an 85.73m effort.

The win also wrapped up a successful 2022 season for Neeraj Chopra. 

The 24-year-old Indian javelin ace competed in six competitions and rewrote his national record twice this season. Neeraj Chopra also became the first Indian to win a silver at the world athletics championships in July. 

Though the Indian athlete pulled out of the Commonwealth Games 2022 due to a groin injury, he marked his return by becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League meet in Lausanne and eventually became the first Indian to win a Diamond League trophy.

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