New Delhi: Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will cross the 90m mark at the Kuortane Games in Finland on Saturday, following his spectacular return to action in Turku, where he sent his javelin to 89.30m for a new national record.
The 24-year-old Indian superstar’s javelin landed 70cm under 90m, the gold standard of the javelin world at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on Tuesday in its first match after winning gold in Tokyo last August. year.
He was second in a star-studded field behind local athlete Oliver Helander, who was the surprise gold winner with a personal best of 89.83m.
Chopra will compete for the second time this week in the Kuortane Games, a silver-level event in the Continental World Athletics Tour†
He is currently stationed at the Kuortane Olympic Training Center, about 300km from Turku, for the all-important World Championships (July 15-24) in Eugene in the US.
It will be a world-class field in Kuortane, but not as strong as in Turku. Reigning World Champion Anderson Petersthe season leader with a throw of 93.07 m but who finished third in Turku behind Chopra with 86.60 m, will be there.
Helander would also be pumped up to produce another big throw under home conditions.
There will also be 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago who finished fourth in Turku with 84.02m. But Jakub Vadlejch, the silver medalist of the Tokyo Olympics, who finished sixth in Turku, and Weber’s fifth Julian Weber, will be missing from action.
Chopra’s big competitor and friend Johannes Vetter from Germany is also not there, although he won the event here last year with a monster throw of 93.59m. Chopra finished third last year with a throw of 86.79m.
If Chopra exceeds the 90m mark, which he said should come this year, he will become the 21st javelin thrower to do so.
“I’m happy with my performance. It was my first event of the season, so I’m happy to have started the season well. My performance here has significantly boosted my confidence,” said Chopra after the Paavo Nurmi Games.
“For the future I want to work on my technique, throw and overall performance. I’m in a happy place right now and I just want to do well in the upcoming events. †
Chopra’s previous national record was 88.07 meters, which he set in March of last year in Patiala. He had won gold at the Tokyo Olympics on August 7, 2021 with a throw of 87.58 meters.
Chopra’s effort of 89.30m will take him to fifth on the world season leader’s list.
After Kuortane, Chopra will compete in the Stockholm stage of the Diamond League on June 30. He had previously trained in the US and Turkey before moving to Finland last month.
Also read | Mirabai Chanu misses new national record despite gold in weightlifting