India’s javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra finished fifth in the Paris Diamond League on Saturday with a throw of 84.67 metres in his fourth attempt to be unable to improve on his personal best. The fifth position is a remarkable achievement and a superb reflection of his capability considering he is only 19-years-old and the competition brings together 10 elite athletes from across the world.
Chopra was making his debut at the Diamond League and has moved up the ranks and gone from a little-known junior to a World Under-20 champion. He rose to fame last year when he threw a staggering 86.48 metres at World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Competing at his first senior competition since that day, Neeraj started with a throw of 79.54 metres before improving to 81.32 metres in the second. His third and fifth attempts dipped once again to 78.69 metres and 79.52 metres. His fourth attempt – at 84.67 metres – remained his best showing then.
Germany’s Johannes Vetter managed a distance of 88.74 metres to clinch the gold medal, Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch bagged the silver with a personal best throw of 88.02 metres, while Olympic champion Thomas Rohler of Germany finished third with a best effort of 87.23 metres.
In the last two years now, Neeraj has produced throws of 86.48 metres at Bydgoszcz, Poland, 85.63 metres in Patiala and now 84.67 metres at the Diamond League.