Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra finished second while long jumper M. Sreeshankar bagged fifth place at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich on Thursday.
Neeraj, who became the first-ever Indian athlete to win a gold medal at World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Sunday, finished behind Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch in the men’s javelin throw event. Vadlejch had won a bronze in the World Championships.
Neeraj was in fifth place after his opening throw of 80.79m followed by two fouls. However, he moved to second with his fourth-round throw of 85.22m. The 25-year-old Indian came close to overtaking Vadlejch’s 85.86m effort in his final attempt but fell just short as he could only manage 85.71m.
Germany’s Weber finished third with 85.04m.
“I feel very good now, because everyone is a little tired after the World Championships - we gave our 100 percent there, but for this competition here my focus was to just stay healthy, and we have to focus now for Eugene and then the Asian Games,” said Neeraj after the event.
“For me, the focus was just to stay healthy and to give my 100 percent in my next competitions. Sometimes we need to read our bodies. Today, I feel OK, I am 100 percent OK, but I didn’t push too much. Sometimes, our number one goal is to stay healthy. Today I gave it my best, but still with the focus to stay healthy. I usually do my winter training in Europe, because it is a lot easier to travel, that’s why I spent some time in Loughborough a few months before competing in Budapest this summer,” he added.
Neeraj qualified for the Diamond League finals to be held on September 17 in Eugene, USA, with 23 points from three meets. He had won the Diamond League trophy last year. He had won the Diamond League Meetings in Doha (May 5) and Lausanne (June 30) -- his only two competitions before Budapest.
In men’s long jump, Commonwealth Games silver medallist started with a leap of 7.99m but could not improve it in his next four attempts - 7.96m, foul, 7.96m and 7.93m. Olympic and world champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece won the competition with his final jump of 8.20m. Jamaica’s Tajay Clarke finished second with 8.07m while USA’s Jarrior Lawson was third with 8.05m.
(With inputs from PTI)
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