Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has a good chance to qualify for the prestigious Diamond League Final on August 30 but the narrow gap between the meet in Zurich and his Asian Games event could leave the athlete in a tight spot.
Chopra finished fifth in the Rabat (Morocco) leg of the Diamond League series on Friday with a best throw of 83.32m. He collected four Diamond League points from there and now has a total of 12 points to be placed at sixth spot in the standings.
One Diamond League Meeting (which includes javelin) is scheduled for August 18 in Birmingham but Chopra is not taking part in it even though athletics events at the Asian Games start on August 25. The men’s javelin final in the Asiad will be held on August 27, barely three days before the Diamond League Final.
The top 8 or 12 athletes (depending on the discipline) will be awarded a start at the Diamond League Final. Out of the 32 events (men and women) in the league, half of them, including men’s javelin, will have their Final in Zurich on August 30. The Final of the remaining events will be competed in Brussels on August 31.
Before Rabat, Chopra has taken part in two other Diamond League Meetings. He finished fourth while collecting five points in Doha on May 4 and sixth, with 3 points, in Eugene (USA) on May 25.
“I am not taking part in Birmingham because of the Asian Games. I will be directly going to Jakarta from Finland (where the javelin group is undergoing training). My final event in Asian Games is on August 27 and as of now I don’t know whether I will be in Zurich or not,” Chopra told PTI.
“I will try my best to be there (Zurich) but I cannot say with certainty. Let us see,” said the reigning Commonwealth Games champion who has a personal best of 87.43m.
The 14-leg Diamond League Meetings are prestigious events competed among elite athletes of the world. The top eight finishers in each leg gets prize money. The eight-place finisher gets USD 1000 while the winner pockets USD 10,000.
For the Diamond League Final in Zurich and Brussels, the prize money has been enhanced with the eight-place finisher getting USD 2,000 and the winner pocketing USD 50,000.