The Olympic champion javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra, will begin his Diamond League campaign on May 5 in Doha as one of the primary draws in a packed field.
Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will kick off his season on May 5 in Doha, Qatar, as one of the top draws in a star-studded field.
Chopra, the incumbent Diamond League winner after winning the grand finale in September, will compete with world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada and Olympic silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic in the first match of the season’s 14-leg one-day series.
Chopra is presently training in Turkey and has a personal best of 89.94m, which he accomplished when placing second at last year’s Stockholm Diamond League competition. He’ll stay there till May 31.
The Indian superstar was unable to compete in the 2022 Doha Diamond League Meeting because of an injury. Peters won the competition by throwing the spear the fifth-farthest in history, at 93.07 metres. Vadlejch, who won the bronze medal at the World Championships, came in second with a throw of 90.88 metres.
Along with the illustrious trio, other athletes competing in the Doha Meeting include former Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago (personal best: 90.16m), former world champion and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego of Kenya (personal best: 92.72m), and European champion Julian Weber of Germany (PB: 89.54m), who placed fourth in the Olympics and fourth in the world.
Chopra, the first track and field athlete from India to win an Olympic gold medal, has set the gold standard for javelin throws at 90 metres as one of his goals for this year.
I’m also coming close to the 90-meter threshold, so breaking that barrier would mean a lot to me, he added.
“While I had a successful year in 2017, setting a new personal best, winning a silver medal at the world championships, and winning the Wanda Diamond League, this year offers me new prospects. The World Championships, the Asian Games, and the defending of my Wanda Diamond League championship are my summertime objectives.
After making Olympic history at the Tokyo Games in 2021, Chopra earned silver in the 2022 World Championships in the USA, while Peters took home the gold. However, Chopra was unable to successfully defend his Commonwealth Games gold at the Birmingham edition last year due to an injury.
He was hurt at the World Championships, but he was able to recover in time to take first place in the Diamond League Finals in Switzerland.
“I’m always blown away by the warm support I receive from Indians around the world, but in Qatar that is particularly special, so I’m looking forward to opening my 2023 Wanda Diamond League season there alongside a group of incredible athletes, in front of a passionate crowd.”
The 2023 Diamond League consists of 14 matches, with the first one taking place on May 5 in Doha at the Qatar Sports Club and the last one taking place on September 16 and 17 in Eugene, Oregon, USA.