Paris 2024: Neeraj Chopra wins gold at Paavo Nurmi Games as he prepares to defend Olympic title

In his first event since last month’s Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar, Neeraj Chopra finished on the top of the podium with 85.97m throw.

Published : Jun 18, 2024 22:48 IST , CHENNAI - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Neeraj Chopra in action.
FILE PHOTO: Neeraj Chopra in action. | Photo Credit: K.R Deepak/The Hindu

FILE PHOTO: Neeraj Chopra in action. | Photo Credit: K.R Deepak/The Hindu

Neeraj Chopra clinched gold medal in men’s javelin throw at Paavo Nurmi Games, a World Athletics Continental Tour (Gold level) event, with 85.97m in Turku, Finland on Tuesday.

Reigning Olympic and World Champion Neeraj opened with a throw of 83.62m. He was briefly overtaken by local favourite Oliver Helander who had a second-round throw of 83.96m while the Indian could only produce 83.45m.

However, Neeraj reclaimed the lead with his third-round throw of 85.97m, which turned out to be his best effort of the day. He followed it up with 82.21m, a foul throw and 82.97m in the following rounds.

Finland’s Toni Keränen took silver with a new personal best of 84.19m while Helander won bronze with 83.96m. Lassi Etelätalo, another local athlete, finished last with 79.35m.

Paavo Nurmi Games HIGHLIGHTS: Neeraj Chopra wins gold medal with 85.97m throw

Former world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada finished fourth with 82.58m while former Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott settled for sixth spot with 81.93m.

Moldova’s Andrian Mardare took fifth place with 82.19m. Max Dehning, the 19-year-old German who produced world-leading throw of 90.20m in February, could not cross the 80m mark as he finished seventh with 79.84m.

This was Neeraj’s third event of the season. The 26-year-old Indian had finished second at the Diamond League meeting in Doha with 88.36m. He also took part in his first domestic competition since winning gold at Tokyo Olympics as he claimed the top spot at the Federation Cup in Bhubaneswar last month with 82.27m.

Neeraj was supposed to participate in the Ostrava Golden Spike 2024 but decided against it as a precautionary measure due to an issue with his adductor muscles.

Neeraj has been exempted by the Athletics Federation of India from participating in the National Inter-State Meet, set to be held in Panchkula from June 27 to 30, and is expected to next be in action during the Diamond League meeting in Paris on July 7.

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