A strong field awaits Neeraj Chopra in his first Diamond League meet of the season


A strong field awaits Olympic javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra at the prestigious Diamond League meet in Stockholm on June 30, which will be the biggest event before him. The world Championship in Eugene, USA next month.

Chopra, 24, will return to the Swedish capital with confidence after his first win of the season at the Quarten Games in Finland on June 18, beating Grenada’s reigning world champion Anderson Peters for the second time this month.

The Indian superstar won silver with a national record throw of 89.30m in his first event of the season on June 14 at the Pavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland.

Chopra suffered a bad fall during the third attempt at the Quarten Games but fortunately suffered no injuries. The run-up was slippery due to rain and the conditions for javelin throwing were tense. However, his first round throw of 86.64 meters was enough to give him gold.

Peters is on Stockholm’s list of participants but did not finish all his throws, recording a best throw of 71.94m at the event in Orimattila, Finland on Wednesday.

The Grenada athlete has seen a decline in form after winning the Doha Diamond League meet 93.07m with a leading throw of the season. After that, he threw 86.60m in the Pavo Nurmi Games for third place and 84.75m in the Games for second and third place.

Also in action will be Olympic silver medalist Jacob Wadlage of the Czech Republic and compatriot Tokyo Games bronze winner Vitezslav Veselli. All the medal winners of the Tokyo Olympics will be in action together for the first time this season.

Wadlage, who finished sixth in the Pavo Nurmi Games with a best throw of 83.91m, returned from the Quarten Games. The same is true of Julian Weber of Germany, who returns after finishing fifth in the Pavo Nurmi Games with 84.02m.

Finland’s Oliver Hellander, who won gold at the Pavo Nurmi Games with a surprise throw of 89.83 meters, has also returned from the Quarten Games.

Ace German Johannes Wetter, the 2017 world champion and active javelin thrower, throwing more than 90 meters, is on the sidelines due to injury. He also withdrew from the German National Championship.

Another Indian, Murali Sreesankar, will also take part in the meet but his long jump event is not included in the Diamond League program. It is listed as an additional event.

But the long jump is strong with the participation of Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Greece’s Tentoglou Miltiadis and World Indoor Championships silver medalist Thobias Montler.

Sreesankar is also taking part in the event for the World Championships (July 15-24) and the Commonwealth Games (July 28 to August 8).

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