Credit: EFE/EPA

Credit: EFE/EPA

Olympic Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra began his Diamond League title defense with an impressive win at the Doha Diamond League. Chopra couldn’t break the targeted 90m barrier but threw a world-leading effort of 88.67m on his first attempt at the Qatar Sports Club on Friday. Chopra beat Olympic 2020 silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch who threw 88.63m. Reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, who had won the event here last year with a 93.07-meter throw had a disappointing throw of 85.88m.

Courtesy of the top-place finish, the 25-year-old Neeraj Chopra earned eight qualification points from the first leg. Athletes competing in Diamond League are awarded points instead of medals and the top eight athletes at the end of the Diamond League series qualify for the Diamond League final. This year’s final will be held in Eugene on September 16 and 17.

Watch Neeraj Chopra's best throw here:

Chopra said after the win, "It was a very hard win, but I’m happy, It's a really good start for me. I hope to come in first place in the next competitions and to keep consistency during the season.”

Chopra took to his Twitter handle and shared:

Neeraj Chopra's throws in the Doha Diamond League:

  • 1st attempt: 88.67m
  • 2nd attempt: 86.04m
  • 3rd attempt: 85.47m
  • 4th attempt: Foul
  • 5th attempt: 84.37m
  • 6th attempt: 86.52m

Last year, Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian athlete to be crowned Diamond League champion by winning the grand final in Zurich in September. His best of 89.05 meters came at the Stockholm Diamond League in June 2022. Chopra’s next event will be the Golden Spike Ostrava in the Czech Republic in late June.