Neeraj Chopra, the Tokyo Olympics winner, won the men’s javelin throw gold at the 2022 Kuortane Games in Finland on Saturday with an outstanding throw of 86.69 meters, just days after winning a silver medal and setting a new national record at the Paavo Nurmi athletics event.
Chopra’s first throw of 86.69m was enough to put him in first place on the podium. His winning throw, however, fell short of his personal best of 89.30m, which he had set earlier in the week at the Paavo Nurmi Games.
Meanwhile, on Instagram, Neeraj posted a video of his gold-medal-winning throw with the remark, “The weather made it difficult, but I’m glad to have won my first race of the season here at Kuortane. I’m in good shape and looking forward to starting my Diamond League season on the 30th at @bauhausgalan. Thank you for all of your kind words and encouragement.” Here’s the link to the video:
Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, who won gold in London 2012, took silver with an 86.64m try, while world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada took bronze with an 84.75m attempt.
Chopra, 24, set the tone for the battle right away, winning the first round of throws with an 86.69m attempt, 0.05m ahead of Walcott. With his next two throws, he failed to log legitimate efforts and took a severe fall during his third attempt. Following the fall, the Indian was seen wincing in pain and making no further attempts.
Sandeep Chaudhary, a Paralympian and Neeraj’s compatriot, finished eighth with 60.35m. On the other hand, Oliver Helander, who won gold at the Paavo Nurmi Games by defeating Chopra, did not compete.
Chopra will next go to Sweden for the Diamond League’s Stockholm leg, followed by appearances at the World Athletics Championships in the United States and the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham next month.