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Neeraj Chopra becomes the first Indian to win Diamond League

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, an Olympic champion, thinks India is “gradually” building a name for itself on the international track and field arena and envisions a promising future for the country’s athletes in illustrious competitions like the Diamond League.


The 24-year-old Chopra, who is regarded as the pioneer of recent Indian athletics’ unparalleled success, overcame an injury to win the Lausanne leg of the Diamond League event on Friday, becoming the first representative of his country to do so.

Following his historic victory, Chopra remarked, “I will be really thrilled to see more Indian athletes participating in similar events and I will be delighted to participate together with my fellow Indian athletes at a stage like this.”

“This year, Avinash Sable and Sreeshankar also competed in the Diamond League, showing that our nation has steadily attained this level. If we perform better here, it would help Indian athletics play well on wider stages.”

Avinash Sable, a 3000m steeplechaser, and long jumper Murali Sreeshankar recently competed in the Diamond League, although neither placed in the top three. Sable placed fifth in Rabat, Morocco in June, while Sreeshankar placed sixth in Monaco earlier this month.

“This victory is crucial for our nation. I believe we shouldn’t limit our attention to things that occur four or two years down the road. Athletes have a lot of options in events like the Continental Tour and Diamond League Meet.

“Every year, it takes place, and it provides us with chances to succeed. Due to the participation of elite athletes, it greatly aids in preparation for the big competitions. Success in these competitions will also benefit Indian athletics, “added Chopra, who won the competition with a first-round throw of 89.08 metres, his third best effort in his career.

Before a pass, a foul, another pass, and 80.04m in the final round, his second throw had a length of 85.18 metres. For the victory, he received USD 10,000.

Winning a Diamond League Trophy is also a significant accomplishment for an athlete, therefore I don’t want to limit my attention to the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and World Championships, he stated.

Vikas Gowda, a gymnast, is the only Indian to have placed in the top three in a Diamond League Meet prior to Chopra. Gowda placed second twice, once each in New York (2012) and Doha (2014), and third once each in Shanghai and Eugene (2015).

Due to a “small” groyne strain he had had when earning a silver medal at the World Championships last month, Chopra withdrew from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. However, he persisted in his legendary form, making it appear as though the damage had never even occurred.
He claimed that he initially believed the injury would end his season, but a month of recovery in Germany allowed him to quickly bounce back.

“I felt like I might have to end the season because I had to miss the Commonwealth Games owing to a groyne ailment. However, there wasn’t much discomfort, so I had hope that I would feel better in time for the competition.

“I made several solid throws in practise, and I felt fine, so we decided to compete here. My rehabilitation in Germany with my coach went quite well. The athlete from Khandra in Panipat remarked, “I had very little time to prepare, but solid planning in rehab helped me recover rapidly.

On September 8, Chopra qualified for the Diamond League Finals in Zurich, making history as the first Indian to do so. Despite the victory, he held onto fourth place with 15 points after gaining 8 points on Friday. Top six finishers from the Lausanne leg advance to the Zurich Finals. The finals winner will receive USD 30,000 in prize money.
His greatest performance before to Friday’s victory was a second-place showing in the Stockholm leg on June 30.

“Since the Diamond League Finals in Zurich will be the final competition of the season, the plan is to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I don’t have much time to do more or exercise more because there are just 10 days left.

Chopra qualified for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest during his title-winning performance in Lausanne by clearing the 85.20m qualifying mark.

As there are other competitions planned for the following year, including the Asian Games and Asian Championships, it is advantageous to qualify for the World Championship far in advance.

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