Kuortane Games Highlights: Neeraj Chopra secures first win after Tokyo Olympic gold

Neeraj Chopra back to turf at the at the Kuortane Games 2022: Read the highlights of win

Neeraj Chopra broke the national record with a throw of 89.3m at Paavo Nurmi Games.

Neeraj Chopra broke the national record with a throw of 89.3m at Paavo Nurmi Games. | Photo Credit: Christian Petersen

Another step in the right direction for Neeraj Chopra on his comeback. A win under extremely difficult conditions for him today. The 90m mark is still waiting for him though. It is going to happen sooner than later, judging from his form. That's it for today folks. Thanks for following. Until next time!!

  • Neeraj Wins!! His return to competitive javelin throw receives further validation. Neeraj has secured a win with his very first throw being more than sufficient.

 

  • Neeraj Chopra seems set to be done for the day and it looks like the rest of the field too has wound up their attempts. Oliver Helander, who overtook the Indian at the Paavo Nurmi event, few days ago, has opted out of throwing today. Seems like a last minute decision.

 

  • Fourth round: Neeraj is not anywhere to be seen. Is he playing it safe? These conditions are extremely dangerous and he might be playing the long game here. He continues to lead, barely, from Walcott. Just 5cm between these too

 

  • Kim Amb of Sweden struggles to keep himself behind the foul line and he somehow manages to. Keeps his throw legal and puts it on the table. Balance!

 

  • Neeraj sets up again. Releases the spear for his third attempt but slips at the end of his run up. Has his throw chalked off as he crossed the line.

 

  • Anderson Peters fails to hit the 80m mark.  A reminder that he has a season best of 93.07m. But he continues in the third position.

 

  • Keshorn Walcott with his thrid attempt. The conditions are clearly not ideal as he misses the mark too. This situation doesn't seem conducive for Neeraj to go past the 90m mark.

 

  • Neeraj with his second throw. Visible disappointment from him as that effort is ruled out. Hadn't crossed the 80m mark with that though.

 

  • Anderson Peters, with his second throw, unable to go past the 84.75 mark he set in the first attempt. Neeraj continues to lead.

 

  • It is not the best conditions out there with incessant rain and a slippery surface. But Neeraj still goes past the 86m mark. An almighty effort from him.  86.69m for him and he leads the pack. Great start for the Olympic Champion.

PREVIEW

Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will be primed to breach the 90m mark during the Kuortane Games in Finland on Saturday after his spectacular return to action in Turku where he had sent his spear to 89.30m for a new national record.

The 24-year-old Indian superstar's spear landed 70cm short of the 90m mark, the gold standard of the javelin world at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on Tuesday in his first competition after winning gold in Tokyo in August last year.

Listen to Neeraj Chopra analysing his performance from his first competition after the Tokyo Olympics

 

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 be competing for the second time this week at the Kuortane Games, which is a silver-level event in the World Athletics Continental Tour.

READ | Neeraj Chopra to lead 37-member athletics team in Commonwealth Games

He is currently based at the Kuortane Olympic Training Centre, around 300km from Turku, ahead of the all-important World Championships (July 15-24) in Eugene in USA.

It will be a world class field in Kuortane but not as strong as in Turku. Reigning world champion Anderson Peters, the season leader with 93.07m throw but who finished third in Turku behind Chopra with 86.60m, will be there.

Helander would also be pumped up to produce another big throw under home conditions once again.

There will also be 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago who was fourth in Turku with 84.02m. But Czech Republic's Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch, who was sixth in Turku, and fifth-placed Julian Weber of Weber, will be missing in action.

Chopra's great competitor and friend Johannes Vetter of Germany is also not there though he had won the event here last year with a monster throw of 93.59m. Chopra was third last year with a throw of 86.79m.

If Chopra breaches the 90m mark, which he had said should come this year, he will become the 21st javelin thrower to do so.

"I am pleased with my performance. It was my first event of the season, so I am happy to have started the season on a high note. My performance here has boosted my confidence significantly," Chopra had said after the Paavo Nurmi Games.

"Going forward, I am looking to work on my technique, throw, and overall performance. I am in a happy place at the moment and I just want to do well in the upcoming events." Chopra's earlier national record was 88.07m which he had set in Patiala in March last year. He had won the Tokyo Olympics gold with a throw of 87.58m on August 7, 2021.

Chopra's 89.30m effort will take him to fifth spot in the world season leaders' list.

After Kuortane, Chopra will feature in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League on June 30. He had earlier trained in the USA and Turkey before shifting base to Finland last month.

KOURTANE GAMES DETAILS:

Neeraj Chopra's Kuortane outing will get underway on June 18 from 9:15pm IST. Follow live updates on Sportstar. No telecast or stream has been announced for audiences in India.

(With inputs from PTI)

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